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Reader’s Theatre A presentation and activity brought to you by Nick Iammatteo for EDU 314.

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Presentation on theme: "Reader’s Theatre A presentation and activity brought to you by Nick Iammatteo for EDU 314."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reader’s Theatre A presentation and activity brought to you by Nick Iammatteo for EDU 314

2 Alright so what is Reader’s Theatre? A definition from Education.com (no author listed) The performance of a literary work by an individual or group, wherein the text is read expressively; but it is not fully staged or acted out performance.

3 How about another definition? This one is from Quizlet.com (once again, no author) A dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form. Readers read from a “script” and parts are dived amongst the readers; no memorization, costumes, blocking or special effects are required.

4 First a history of… It is almost as old as the printed word…

5 You could say it started with radio… Actors held the scripts in front of them while they performed various shows; oftentimes they were in front of an audience.

6 The first “official” Reader’s Theatre performance was done on Broadway… … in 1945 by a group who called themselves Readers’ Theatre Inc.; they did a production of Oedipus Rex, which is an old Greek tragedy by Sophocles.

7 Then came the 1960’s…man Readers Theatre started becoming more popular in colleges during the 1960s; those students would go on to teach in grade schools and use it in their classrooms…groovy.

8 So what purpose can it serve in the classroom? Learn how to break down a story Instead of reading a story once or twice the student will instead read it 20 to 30 times Can help those with reading difficulties Teamwork Bonus: it is very inexpensive ( Prescott, 2003)

9 What kind of stories can we use? Does not have to be a play Can be any story, any type of story, fiction or non-fiction The type of story depends on the grade you’re teaching, whatever you feel your students can handle Plus many websites offer free “RT” scripts to help you out, otherwise you’ll have to break down the story yourself

10 How long should the project last? Most of the anecdotes I have read suggest one week because students can get bored after that. Can get away with doing it a little longer if you’re planning a more fleshed out performance, like a night for parents and general public.

11 Guess what, now it’s your turn

12 I have three scripts… “Kings Wish” ( 6 characters) “Turkey Trott” ( 7 characters) “Miss Nelson is Missing” ( 6 or 7 characters) Courtesy of a website by Mr. J. Chase Young, a teacher at McGowen Elementary School in McKinney, TX. The scripts are either originals from other teachers or adaptations. He offers them on his website for free.

13 References …because I didn’t just know all this stuff Cornwell, Linda. (2012). What is Reader’s Theatre? In Scholastic. From Lohman, George (2008). Readers’ Theatre for Literacy and Presentation. In Readers Theatre Help Blog. From, theatre.html theatre.html Prescott, Jennifer O. (2003). Teaching and Learning: the Power of Reader’s Theatre. In Scholastic. From, Reader’s Theatre Definitions. (2012). In Quizlet. From, Young, J. Chase (2011). Readers’ Theatre Scripts. In Mr. Young’s Second Grade Class Site. From


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