Reader's theater is a fun and exciting way to help students learn about social studies while fostering a growth mindset. There are so many ways that these can be used in class. What's even better is that the students really love reader's theater and beg for more.
What is Reader's Theater?
- 2 or more people read a piece of writing aloud from a script, assuming the roles of certain characters.
- May be performed in a variety of ways for any audience.
- Not memorized or necessarily acted out. The voices carry the meaning. Can create actions to enhance meaning.
- Practiced ahead of time so voices carry meaning.
- Fast-paced and fun!
15 Benefits of Using Reader's Theater
- They give students confidence in reading and speaking in front of others.
2. Boost language skills.
3. Increase reading fluency (rate, tone, intonation, phrasing, etc)
4. Rereading practice increases fluency.
5. More opportunities to practice oral reading fluency.
6. Develop a positive attitude toward reading.
7. Teaches anticipation (be ready for your turn).
8. Perfect for ELL students who need extra practice with oral reading and understanding syntax.
9. Develop ease and a better understanding of new vocabulary words.
10. Practice expressive reading.
11. Improve speaking skills and be in front of an audience.
12. Build a sense of community with others.
13. Practice reading loudly and clearly.
14. A biography book can come alive when students read as if they are that person.
15. Easily integrate social studies and science topics into reading.
3 Scripts at different ability levels, with leveled roles.
Before/After true or false learning activity.
4 Discussion cards for after each reader’s theater.
2 writing prompts for each script.
A graphic organizer printable for each script.
Cover pages for each script
Tips for putting together scripts and practicing.
Reader's Theater is amazing because it allows for natural differentiation. The scripts are leveled so you can assign students to groups while they are learning about the same topic as their classmates. By having students in groups, they are naturally able to help each other out and collaborate on the topic. Discussion questions and task cards are provided to help build this natural communication. True/False quizzes are available to test their knowledge. There are also self-reflective writing pages included.
Reader's Theaters are available for grades 2-4 and 5-7. You will find Growth Mindset bundle, which includes topics like: Never Giving Up, Putting Others First, Perfectionism, Paying it Forward, Compassion, Respect, Being Responsible, Ethical Dilemmas, Quality of Work, Setting Goals, and Cyber Safety.
There is also a Holidays Around the World bundle which includes: Las Posados, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, St. Lucia Day, and Christmas in Japan. There are also individual holiday reader's theaters for Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, and Valentine's Day. The four seasons also have their own bundle too.
Social Studies topics included are: Geography, Citizens in a Community, Economics, Communities, The American Revolution, Ancient Civilizations, The Civil War, The Dust Bowl, European Explorers, Inspirational Women, The Great Depression, Westward Expansion, and the 13 Colonies.
Reader's Theater Table of Contents
To see the entire line of Reader's Theater:
Check out this blog post to learn more: Check Out What Other Teachers Have to Say About Reader's Theater.