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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

From page to stage

May 3, 2010

Books and drama go hand in glove — they're both about story, after all. Just look at the films that have drawn their inspiration from children's books.

On a smaller scale, Reader's Theater brings stories to life as I was reminded when reading a recent article by Elizabeth Poe. The educational — and social — benefits of second grade children sharing Eric Rohmann's A Kitten Tale (Knopf) with preschool children are clearly presented.

I've seen adult writers of books for young readers perform in this way and there are lots of resources to get teachers started, but for second graders to choose, script, and perform their work reminds me that it's far too easy for adults to underestimate how capable young children are when given the chance.

Reader's Theater fits into classroom or library activities and may even become a family or community pursuit. All it takes is an appealing book with a strong story and some faith in children's (and adults') creativity.

Find out more about Reader's Theater in the Reading Rockets strategy library

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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx