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Presentation on theme: "SANDWICHES IN THE SPOTLIGHT! Using Readers’ Theatre to Build Vocabulary P RESENTED BY ALISON GILCHRIST AND EMILY HAYDEN:"— Presentation transcript:


2 WHAT ABOUT WORDS?  Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. ― Rudyard KiplingRudyard Kipling  The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn't be any of this. ― Markus Zusak, The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak, The Book Thief  Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. ― Stephen KingStephen King  I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go. ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and DamnedF. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned  Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. ― Steve MartinSteve Martin

3 Empowers students to take control of their reading Range of sources-can even be written by students themselves Research points to strong gains in fluency and comprehension when using Readers’ Theatre Multi-sensory Incorporates art, music, and kinesthetic activity Inclusive Authentic Challenges high level readers Engages resistant readers Both boys and girls love being in a play Brings literature to life Helps students to comprehend the nuances of vocabulary Helps students to understand multiple meanings of words, including idioms Provides students with strategies to engage in complex text Provides students with a structured, scaffolded yet open-ended literary activity Introduces new vocabulary Helps students to see old vocabulary in a new light…

4 BUT MOSTLY…READERS’ THEATRE IS… Easy, cheap, and an absolute blast!

5 VOCABULARY AND CCSS  Vocabulary is a major part of CCSS  Key for understanding complex text (Anchor Standard 10, Reading Standard 4 and Language Standard 4,5, and 6)  Doug Fisher: “.{The CCSS} say that the students will use word parts or morphology and it does say that they will use context clues and resources”  Vocabulary is mentioned at least 150 times in the CCSS.

6 RESEARCH ON VOCABULARY  Beck, I., McKeown, M., and Kucan, L.(2002). Bringing words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. New York,NY: The Guilford Press.  Beck, I., McKeown, M., and Kucan, L.(2008). Creating Robust Vocabulary:Frequently Asked Questions and Extended Examples. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.  Marzano, R. and Simms, J.(2013). Vocabulary for the Common Core. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Lab.  Overtu, B.(2013). Word Nerds. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.  Ganske, K.: (2008). Mindful of Words: Spelling and Vocabulary Explorations 4-8 (Solving Problems in Teaching of Literacy). New York, NY: Guilford Press.  Fisher, D., Frey, N., and Lapp, D.(2012). Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

7 … MORE VOCABULARY RESEARCH  Baumann, J.F., Ware, D., and Edwards, E.C.(2007). “Bumping into Spicy, Tasy Words that Catch Your Tongue”: A formative Experiment on Vocabulary Instruction. The Reading Teacher, 61(2) 108-22.  Berne, Jennifer I., and Blachowicz, Camille L.Z. (2008). What Reading Teachers say about Vocabulary in the Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 62(4), 314-323.  Blamey, K.L. and Beauchat, K. (2011). Word Walk: Vocabulary Instruction for Young Children, The Reading Teacher, 65(1), 71-75.  Fisher, D. and Frey, N.(2014). Content Area Vocabulary Learning. The Reading Teacher 67(8), 594-99.  Graves, M., Baumann, J.F., Blachowica, C.L.Z., Manyak, P., Bates, A., Cieply, C., Davis, J., Von Gunten, H. Words, Words, Everywhere, but Which Ones do we Teach?(2013). The Reading Teacher 67(5,) 333-346.  Greenwood, Scott C., and Flanigan, Kevin(2007) Overlapping Vocabulary and Comprehension: Context Clues Complement Semantic Gradient. The Reading Teacher, 61(3). 249-54.  Lane, Holly B., and Allen, Stephanie A.(2010). The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom: Modeling Sophisticated Word Use to Promote Word Consciousness and Vocabulary Growth. The Reading Teacher, 63(5), 362-370.  Sitkoski, I(2010). How Do You Draw Absolutely: Implementation and Augmentation of Beck & McKeown’s Text Talk. Illinois Reading Council Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2, spring 2010, 11- 19.  Wasik, B.A., and Iannone-Campbell, C.(2012). Developing Vocabulary Through Purposeful, Strategic Conversations. The Reading Teacher, 66(2). 321-332.

8 READERS’ THEATRE RESEARCH  Adomat, Donna S.(2009). Actively Engaging with Stories Through Drama: Portraits of Two Young Readers. The Reading Teacher, 62(8), 628-636.  Garrett, T. D., and O’Connor, D.(2010). Readers’ Theatre: “Hold On, Let’s Read It Again.” Teaching Exceptional Children, September-October,6-13.  Locke, J., and Ossont, S.(2007) Playing Stories: Creative Drama and Children’s Literature. Book Links, May, 43-46.  Macy, L.(2004). A Novel Study Through Drama. The Reading Teacher, 58(3) 240- 248.  Padak, N., and Rasinski, T. (2008)The Games Children Play. The Reading Teacher, 62(4), 363-365.  Vasinda, S., and McLeod, J. (2011)Extending Readers’ Theatre: A Powerful and Purposeful Match with Podcasting. The Reading Teacher, 64(7) 486-497.

9 READERS’ THEATRE AND CCSS  “…literary understanding depends on a readers’ engagement with stories: both on a reader’s entering and becoming involved in a story and on using that involvement to interpret such elements as character, setting, and thematic possibilities.” (Adomat, 2009).  Readers’ Theatre covers a number of Common Core Standards…

10 CCSS…SOME SPECIFICS  RL. 2.3 Describe how the characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.  RL. 2.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.  RL. 2.6 Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.  RL.2.10 Read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

11 READERS THEATRE HELPS BUILD UNDERSTANDING AND APPLICATION OF CONTEXT CLUES  As students practice and perform a play over and over again, they become more comfortable with using the vocabulary of their lines to add emphasis to their parts, and to control their interaction with other actors. They start to say lines in different ways, giving new meaning to the words and to the sentences they say: “Because the product of the performance is oral, volume, intonation, pitch, and timing are critical to supporting the listener’s enjoyment, visualization, and understanding of a script.”(Vasinda and McLeod, 2011) All this helps children to bring alive their roles and to bring alive the vocabulary of their characters. Readers’ Theatres helps to lift what Donald Graves called kids’ “word consciousness,” and encourage an interest in and a passion for different words as students explore their characters, their actions, and their motivations. “Students who engage with words by hearing them, using them, manipulating them semantically, and playing with them are more likely to learn and retain new vocabulary.” (Blachowicz and Obrochta, 2005)

12 READING YOUR LINES…  Flanigan, K. and Greenwood, S. (2007). Overlapping Vocabulary and Comprehension: Context Clues Complement Semantic Gradients, The Reading Teacher, 61(3), 249-54.  “Because they are so transportable, context clues merit careful teaching. Students need to be sensitized to the various types of context clues that are available to them—they need to gradually become aware that authors choose their words carefully.”  Greenwood and Flanigan discuss the use of semantic gradiant, which can be used when discussing vocabulary in Readers’ Theatre. Instead of happy or sad, words can be organized from happy to disappointed to upset to livid. Instead of hot and cold, temperatures can go from scalding to tepid to freezing. Readers’ theatre can help kids to see the gradations in vocabulary, and to understand why a very specific word must be used by a character or to describe a character.  For instance, the lead character in Queen Midas as having food that went from delectable to disgusting as everything she touched turned to chocolate.


14 READERS’ THEATRE SCRIPTS  Martin, Justin M. (2004) 12 Fabulous and Funny Folktale Plays: Super-Engaging Fractured Tales That Boost Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. New York: Scholastic Teaching Resources.  This book provides engaging plays along with pre and post activities. The plays provide inspiration for sets and costumes, and the vocabulary can be highlighted in a number of ways using signs, illustrations, and even music.  The plays can be paired with the fairy tales and myths they are based on, such as Jack and the Beanstalk or the legend of King Midas.  Leveled Readers’ Theatre(2009) Monterey, CA: Evan-Moore. Parts can be assigned based on students’ reading level and interest, and the plays are easy to create costumes, sets, and props for.

15 NOW LET’S GET TO IT...  Enough talk! Let’s act!  What words do you have?  What could they be?

16 QUEEN MIDAS…IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MAGIC TOUCH  Words for eating…gulp, wolf  Words to describe food…delicious, scrumptious, delectable  Words to describe routine…ordinary, typical, normal.

17 ILLUSTRATING IDIOMS Appelbaum, M. and Catanese, J.(2010). Fabulously Funny Idiom Plays. New York: Teaching Resources. Other books about idioms… Leedy, L.(2008).Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story. China: Holiday House. Loewan, N. (2011). You’re Toast: And other Metaphors We Adore. Minnesota: Picture Window Books. Terban, M. In a Pickle and Other Funny Idioms. New York: Clarion Books.

18 POETRY OLD AND NEW- VOCABULARY VISIONS  Emily Dickinson: Born 1830, lived in Amherst, Massachusetts, wrote hundreds of poems...loved to play with words, invent words, and use words in different ways…her poems are great for acting out because they make use of words from nature and are very visual.  Kids’ version can be found in Bolin, F.S., Editor(2008). Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson.  Could be paired with…

19 GUESS WHO? READERS’ THEATRE BRINGS TOGETHER UNLIKELY COMPANIONS  Jeff Foxworthy!  From Alabama  Known more as a comedian than  As a children’s author(which he is)  Brings vocabulary to light through poetry  His characters tend to be drawn from real life, but are bigger than life, and provide lots of opportunity for discussion. Compare and contrast with Emily Dickinson and her Use of words Dirt on My Shirt

20 WHAT IS THE RESEARCH?  “Rosenblatt(1982) believed that when the aesthetic stance dominates a reading event, students are provided the opportunity to savor the images, sounds, smells, actions, and feelings that the words of the text evoke”(Macy, 2004)

21 ALICE WALKER KNOWS THE POWER OF THE “AESTHETIC STANCE” There is a flower at the tip of my nose smelling me. There is a sky at the end of my eye seeing me. There is a road at the bottom of my foot walking me. There is a dog at the end of my leash holding me. Alice Walker, There is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me(2006) *************************************************************** This poem turns the tables on how children see their world and themselves, using every day vocabulary and its use in a different light…what is a noun? What is a verb? How am I connecting with the world around me?

22 CONTENT AREA/STEM… SCIENCE VERSE BY JON SCIESCKA AND LANE SMITH  A variety of poems on everything from the water cycle to dinosaurs to astronomy.  Provides a different paradigm for science studies.  Tier Three Words  Can be included in Readers’ Theatre:

23 SHAKESPEARE…  Use just one part of a play, like the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. Another possibility is the famous pre-Agincourt speech in Henry V, which, if lengthy, certainly is inspirational. If students do this en masse, they are less self-conscious and more willing to take risks. Both of these plays also have many easy to find versions on youtube, which shows students a variety of ways to say the same speech.  Shakespeare was able to use words that are nuanced. Students see that vocabulary use isn’t necessarily black and white.

24 TECHNOLOGY AND READERS’ THEATRE Use your phone to record RT sessions Have students watch the recordings to decide how and what they can change Stop or zoom in when key words are being used Use a document camera before RT to highlight key vocabulary and then to display graphic organizers Sheri Vasinda and Julie McLeod in Extending Readers’ Theatre: A Powerful and Purposeful Match with Podcasting,” The Reading Teacher, 64(7), note that recording Readers’ Theatre makes for a permanent record of the performance and widens the audience (especially if the performance is put on the internet). In addition, Vasinda and McLeod write about the use of recordings for self-evaluation and reflection on performance.


26 READERS’ THEATRE HELPS KIDS OWN THE STORY! I liked doing Readers’ Theatre for Sarah, Plain and Tall. I liked listening to other kids read. They made the story sound more exciting. Also, I liked reading from the packet and taking one part. I changed my voice to read my part. It made me feel like I was part of the story. -Tom, in his year-end reflection on some of his favorite activities in third grade


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