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1 Using Readers Theater to Promote Literacy for English Language Learners Dr. Evie Tindall Regent University Dr. Deanna Nisbet Regent.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Using Readers Theater to Promote Literacy for English Language Learners Dr. Evie Tindall Regent University Dr. Deanna Nisbet Regent."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Using Readers Theater to Promote Literacy for English Language Learners Dr. Evie Tindall Regent University evietin@regent.edu Dr. Deanna Nisbet Regent University deannis@regent.edu

2 2 Readers Theater Readers Theater: Description Readers Theater: Description The Sedgefield Elementary Project: Development and Implementation The Sedgefield Elementary Project: Development and Implementation Benefits for ELLs: Overall English Proficiency and Social/Emotional Benefits for ELLs: Overall English Proficiency and Social/Emotional Benefits for ELLs: Promoting Literacy Benefits for ELLs: Promoting Literacy

3 3 Description of Readers Theater Readers Theater is a rehearsed group presentation involving dramatic oral expression in which students read rather than memorize scripts. (Flynn, 2005; ONeill, 2001)

4 Key Characteristics Meaning is conveyed through interpretative and expressive reading rather than acting, props, and costumes. Meaning is conveyed through interpretative and expressive reading rather than acting, props, and costumes. Voice inflections, gestures, and facial expressions express mood Voice inflections, gestures, and facial expressions express mood Students read scripts rather than memorize them. Students read scripts rather than memorize them. 4

5 The Sedgefield Project 5 Readers Theater project conducted as part of a Regent University graduate course in Teaching Reading Readers Theater project conducted as part of a Regent University graduate course in Teaching Reading Setting: Sedgefield Elementary School, Newport News, VA Setting: Sedgefield Elementary School, Newport News, VA 43% Limited English Proficient 43% Limited English Proficient

6 The Sedgefield Project 6 Participants Classroom teachers, specialists (reading, technology, music, ESL) and administrators Classroom teachers, specialists (reading, technology, music, ESL) and administrators Students in K-5 classrooms (Multiple classes per grade) Students in K-5 classrooms (Multiple classes per grade)

7 7 Development and Implementation of Readers Theater at Sedgefield

8 8 Four Stages of Readers Theater Preparation Preparation Rehearsal Rehearsal Assessment Assessment Performance Performance

9 9 Stage 1 Preparation: Content and Form Develop a Script Choose story or a story segment that is 5-15 minutes in length, depending on the age of the students Choose story or a story segment that is 5-15 minutes in length, depending on the age of the students Consider cultural connections. Consider cultural connections. Do a preparatory analysis (See Appendix A) Do a preparatory analysis (See Appendix A)

10 10 Preparation: Content and Form Develop a Script Use an extra copy of the text Use an extra copy of the text Highlight all dialogue in yellow. Highlight all dialogue in yellow. Highlight critical information for narration in another color. (Narration can be used for the setting and actions that support dialogue) Highlight critical information for narration in another color. (Narration can be used for the setting and actions that support dialogue) Highlight the characters in different colors. Highlight the characters in different colors. Type the script. Bold student roles. Type the script. Bold student roles.

11 11 Preparation: Content and Form Match roles with students by considering the following aspects: Student personality Student personality Student interest Student interest Language Proficiency Language Proficiency Level Level Instructional Reading Instructional Reading Level Level

12 12 Preparation: Content and Form Prepare Scripts for Reading Make 2 copies of the script for each student (one for home and one for school) Make 2 copies of the script for each student (one for home and one for school) Place scripts in plain folders Place scripts in plain folders Provide each reader with a folder Provide each reader with a folder Ask students to write their name and the character name in the top right corner of the script. Ask students to write their name and the character name in the top right corner of the script. Have students highlight their role and speaking parts throughout the script. Have students highlight their role and speaking parts throughout the script.

13 13 Preparation: Content and Form Prepare Name Cards Prepare character name cards on the computer. Print on cardstock. Prepare character name cards on the computer. Print on cardstock. Use yarn, string, or cord. Attach to the upper top corners of the name card. Use yarn, string, or cord. Attach to the upper top corners of the name card.

14 14 Preparation: Content and Form Prepare Performance Space Decide whether the performers will sit or stand Decide whether the performers will sit or stand Decide on the performance space. Decide on the performance space. Mark the space with tape. Mark the space with tape. walkingIn.wmv

15 15 Stage 2 Rehearsal: The Heart Prepare the Students Story Analyze and Discuss the Story Analyze and Discuss the Story Develop a Story Map Develop a Story MapCharacters Analyze and Discuss the Characters Analyze and Discuss the Characters Develop a Character Map Develop a Character Map A wonderful resource: http://www.educationoasis.com/curriculum/GO/ character_story.htm

16 16 Rehearsal: The Heart Prepare the Students: Rehearse script in a variety of ways. Oral Reading Model Oral Reading Model Teacher DemonstrationTeacher Demonstration Re-Readings with Support Re-Readings with Support and Feedback and Feedback Echo readingEcho reading Choral readingChoral reading Buddy readingBuddy reading Individual oral readingIndividual oral reading

17 17 Rehearsal: The Heart Prepare the Students Emphasize Reading Fluency (Accuracy, rate, phrasing, and expression) Emphasize Reading Fluency (Accuracy, rate, phrasing, and expression) Focus on oral interpretation (Convey meaning through voice, facial expressions, and gestures.) Focus on oral interpretation (Convey meaning through voice, facial expressions, and gestures.) Address appropriate posture, attentiveness, vocal and volume changes, varying tempo patterns, voice projection, facial expressions and gestures. Address appropriate posture, attentiveness, vocal and volume changes, varying tempo patterns, voice projection, facial expressions and gestures. howard.wmv

18 18 Rehearsal: The Heart Prepare the Students Critique performance. Use the character name instead of student name. Example: Little Mouse, remember to sound afraid. Lets practice together. Now you do it. Critique performance. Use the character name instead of student name. Example: Little Mouse, remember to sound afraid. Lets practice together. Now you do it. Rehearse entrances, exits, and any stage movements until they run smoothly. Rehearse entrances, exits, and any stage movements until they run smoothly. If possible, video and critique rehearsal and/or performance. If possible, video and critique rehearsal and/or performance. Rehearse in front of an audience prior to the final performance. Rehearse in front of an audience prior to the final performance.

19 19 Rehearsal: The Heart Prepare the Students for Assessment Poise/Focus: Posture and Attentiveness Poise/Focus: Posture and Attentiveness Eye Contact: Focus on a point above the heads of the audience when not reading. Look up from the script from time to time when reading. Eye Contact: Focus on a point above the heads of the audience when not reading. Look up from the script from time to time when reading.

20 20 Rehearsal: The Heart Prepare the Students for Assessment Projection/Diction: Volume and articulation Projection/Diction: Volume and articulation Expressive Reading: Attention to punctuation, accurate reading, appropriate rate and phrasing, appropriate expression through voice, facial expressions, and gestures. ww.wmv Expressive Reading: Attention to punctuation, accurate reading, appropriate rate and phrasing, appropriate expression through voice, facial expressions, and gestures. ww.wmv ww.wmv

21 21 Stage 3 Assessment/Refinement Conduct Assessments/Refine Performance Teacher-Assessment (See Appendix B) Teacher-Assessment (See Appendix B) Self-Assessment (See Appendix B) Self-Assessment (See Appendix B)

22 22 Stage 4 Performance: The Outcome Entrance Have readers enter from the back or one side of the room. Have readers enter from the back or one side of the room. Arrange readers in the order that they are listed. Arrange readers in the order that they are listed. Have readers carry their scripts in the hand furthest from the audience. Have readers carry their scripts in the hand furthest from the audience. On signal, readers walk to the performance space and line up on the marked line. On signal, readers walk to the performance space and line up on the marked line. On signal, readers lift their script folders to chest height and open their scripts. On signal, readers lift their script folders to chest height and open their scripts.

23 23 Performance: The Outcome Introduction of RT, Readers, and Roles On signal, a designated reader steps forward and says: Welcome to our Readers Theater Performance. The title of the story is _______, and the author is _______. On signal, a designated reader steps forward and says: Welcome to our Readers Theater Performance. The title of the story is _______, and the author is _______. Each reader steps forward and says: "My name is _______, and I am reading the part of the _______." Each reader steps back into line when finished. Each reader steps forward and says: "My name is _______, and I am reading the part of the _______." Each reader steps back into line when finished. On signal, the performance begins. On signal, the performance begins. StudentsIntroducing.wmv

24 24 Performance: The Outcome Readers speak directly to the audience, not to each other. Readers focus their eyes slightly above the heads of audience. Readers speak directly to the audience, not to each other. Readers focus their eyes slightly above the heads of audience. At the end of the performance, a designated student steps forward and says, This concludes our Readers Theater. We hope you have enjoyed our performance. At the end of the performance, a designated student steps forward and says, This concludes our Readers Theater. We hope you have enjoyed our performance.

25 25 Performance: The Outcome Exit On signal, readers lower their script folder and place it in their hand furthest from the audience. On signal, readers lower their script folder and place it in their hand furthest from the audience. One signal, readers exit the performance space in the reverse order that they entered. One signal, readers exit the performance space in the reverse order that they entered.

26 Examples of Adaptations 26 Level 1 and 2 students: When assigning parts, have these students When assigning parts, have these students read recurring content or place them in a chorus that reads recurring content. read recurring content or place them in a chorus that reads recurring content. Write parts to fit students language proficiency and reading level. Write parts to fit students language proficiency and reading level. Choose culturally relevant literature to maximize connections. Choose culturally relevant literature to maximize connections. Allow students to first read the story in their native language, then read it in English. Allow students to first read the story in their native language, then read it in English.

27 Examples of Adaptations Pre-teach critical vocabulary Pre-teach critical vocabulary Support words with pictures on the story maps, character maps, name cards, and self- evaluations. Support words with pictures on the story maps, character maps, name cards, and self- evaluations. Provide labeled pictures of character moods (happy, sad, etc.) Provide labeled pictures of character moods (happy, sad, etc.) Pair students with a strong reader and provide additional practice. Pair students with a strong reader and provide additional practice. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! 27

28 28 Benefits The benefits of Readers Theater are multiple and varied for all students -- especially English Language Learners

29 Ultimate Benefit When we are helping students to better techniques of reading through greater sensitivity to diction, tone, structures, image, symbol, narrative movement, we are helping them to make more refined responses that are ultimately the source of human understanding and sensitivity to human values (Rosenblatt, 1938/1968, p. 290) When we are helping students to better techniques of reading through greater sensitivity to diction, tone, structures, image, symbol, narrative movement, we are helping them to make more refined responses that are ultimately the source of human understanding and sensitivity to human values (Rosenblatt, 1938/1968, p. 290) 29

30 Benefits for ELLs Observed in the Sedgefield Project Overall Language Proficiency Overall Language Proficiency Social/Emotional Social/Emotional Reading and Writing Reading and Writing 30

31 Benefits for ELLS: Overall Language Proficiency Provides meaningful opportunities to use oral language Provides meaningful opportunities to use oral language Motivates students to use language Motivates students to use language Builds social and academic vocabulary (Cummins, 1984, 1999) Builds social and academic vocabulary (Cummins, 1984, 1999) Provides social interaction with language (Cummins, 1984, 1999; Krashen, 1982, 1985; Krashen & Terrell, 1983) Provides social interaction with language (Cummins, 1984, 1999; Krashen, 1982, 1985; Krashen & Terrell, 1983)

32 Benefits for ELLS: Overall Language Proficiency Integrates and stimulates the use of all language modes Integrates and stimulates the use of all language modes Promotes the use of the mechanics of English Promotes the use of the mechanics of English Allows for differentiation of varying levels of language proficiency (Krashen, 1982, 1985; Krashen & Terrell, 1983) Allows for differentiation of varying levels of language proficiency (Krashen, 1982, 1985; Krashen & Terrell, 1983) 32

33 Benefits for ELLs: Social /Emotional Provides a common focus with a sense of belonging Provides a common focus with a sense of belonging Develops interpersonal, social, and collaborative skills Develops interpersonal, social, and collaborative skills Builds confidence in performing before an audience Builds confidence in performing before an audience 33

34 Benefits for ELLs: Social/Emotional Provides the individual as well as the group with a sense of accomplishment Provides the individual as well as the group with a sense of accomplishment Allows for a non-threatening way of self- expression under the safe covering of the story character Allows for a non-threatening way of self- expression under the safe covering of the story character Promotes safe, caring, respectful, and responsible communities Promotes safe, caring, respectful, and responsible communities 34

35 Benefits for ELLs: Promoting Literacy Fosters a positive attitude toward reading and builds the students confidence as a reader (Millin & Rinehart, 1999) Fosters a positive attitude toward reading and builds the students confidence as a reader (Millin & Rinehart, 1999) Motivates students to read (Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Rinehart, 1999, 2001) Motivates students to read (Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Rinehart, 1999, 2001) Engages students in meaningful reading experiences (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Rinehart, 1999, 2001) Engages students in meaningful reading experiences (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Rinehart, 1999, 2001) 35

36 Benefits for ELLs: Promoting Literacy Builds oral language fluency (Griffith & Rasinski, 2004; Kozub, 2000; Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Rinehart, 1999, 2001; Worthy & Prater. 2002) Builds oral language fluency (Griffith & Rasinski, 2004; Kozub, 2000; Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Rinehart, 1999, 2001; Worthy & Prater. 2002) Fosters reading comprehension (Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Stayer & Allington, 1991; Worthy & Prater, 2002) Fosters reading comprehension (Millin & Rinehart, 1999; Stayer & Allington, 1991; Worthy & Prater, 2002) Promotes instructional level gains (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999) Promotes instructional level gains (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999) 36

37 Benefits for ELLs: Promoting Literacy Promotes understanding of text structure and writers craft Promotes understanding of text structure and writers craft Promotes metacognition (Kelleher, 1997) Promotes metacognition (Kelleher, 1997) Enhances retention (Flynn, 2004) Enhances retention (Flynn, 2004) Allows for differentiation of varying reading levels Allows for differentiation of varying reading levels 37

38 Benefits for ELLs: Promoting Literacy Prompts students to write (Liu, 2000 ; Stewart, 1997) Prompts students to write (Liu, 2000 ; Stewart, 1997) Complements other classroom goals and activities (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999) Complements other classroom goals and activities (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999) Promotes skill transfer to other reading activities (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999) Promotes skill transfer to other reading activities (Martinez, Roser, & Strecker, 1999; Millin & Rinehart, 1999) 38

39 Time after time, teachers have reported that Readers Theater is the single most motivating, effective reading activity they have used. Time after time, teachers have reported that Readers Theater is the single most motivating, effective reading activity they have used. (Worthy & Prater, 2002, p. 295) (Worthy & Prater, 2002, p. 295) 39

40 One of the unique contributions of readers theater to this picture is that it offers an integrated language event with an authentic communication purpose. These students were excited about reading their scripts because they could and because someone wanted to listen to them. One of the unique contributions of readers theater to this picture is that it offers an integrated language event with an authentic communication purpose. These students were excited about reading their scripts because they could and because someone wanted to listen to them. (Rinehart, 1999, p.87) 40

41 Special Thanks to… Patricia Tilghman (principal) and teachers of Sedgefield Elementary School, Newport News, VA. Patricia Tilghman (principal) and teachers of Sedgefield Elementary School, Newport News, VA. Lisa Sullivan, Childrens Librarian, Virginia Beach Public Library Lisa Sullivan, Childrens Librarian, Virginia Beach Public Library Jason Maurer and James Maurer, Information Technology Department, Regent University. Jason Maurer and James Maurer, Information Technology Department, Regent University. 41

42 References Cummins, J. (1984). Bilingualism and special education: Issues in assessment and pedagogy. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters. Cummins, J. (1999). BICS and CALP: Clarifying the distinction. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED438551). Flynn, R.(2004). Curriculum-based readers theater: Setting the stage for reading and retention. The Reading Teacher, 58(4), 360-365. 42

43 References Griffith, L. & Rasinski, T.(2004). A focus on fluency: How one teacher incorporated fluency with her reading curriculum. Reading Teacher, 58(2),126-137. Kelleher, M. (1997). Readers theater and metacognition. The New England Reading Association Journal, 33(2), 4-12. Kozub, R (2000). Readers theater and its effect on oral language fluency. Retrieved March 5, 2008 from http://www.readingonline.org/ editorial/edit_index.asp?HREF=august2000/rkrt.htm. http://www.readingonline.org/ 43

44 References Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Krashen, S. (1985). The input hypothesis. London: Longman. Krashen, S., & Terrell, T. (1983). The natural approach: Language in the classroom. Oxford: Pergamon Press. 44

45 References Liu, J. (2000). The power of readers theater: From reading to writing, ELT Journal, 54(4), 354. Martinez, M., Roser, N., & Strecker, S. (1999). I never thought that I could be a star: A readers theater ticket to fluency. The Reading Teacher, 52(4), 326-334. Millin, E., & Rinehart, S. (1999). Some of the benefits of readers theater participation for second-grade Title I students. Reading Research and Instruction, 39(1), 71-88. 45

46 46 References ONeill, A.(2001). Hassle-free drama: The joy of readers theater. Book Links,11(1), 57-62. Rinehart, R. (1999). "Don't think for a minute that I am getting up there":Opportunities for readers theater in a tutorial for children with reading problems. Journal of Reading Psychology, 20, 71-89. Rinehart, S. (2001). Establishing guidelines for readers theater with less-skilled readers. Reading Horizons, 42(2), 65-75. Rinehart, S. (2001). Establishing guidelines for readers theater with less-skilled readers. Reading Horizons, 42(2), 65-75.

47 References Rosenblatt, L. (1968) Literature as exploration. New York: Appleton-Century. (Original work published in 1838) Stayter, F. & Allington, R. (1991). Fluency and understanding of texts. Theory into Practice, 30 (3),143-48. 47

48 References Stewart, L. (1997). Readers theater and writing workshop: Using childrens literature to prompt student writing. The Reading Teacher, 51(2), 174-175. Worthy, J. & Prater, K. (2002). I thought about it all night: Readers theater for reading fluency and motivation. Reading Teacher, 56 (3), 294- 297. 48


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