When To Use This Strategy
Appropriate Group Size
Why use reader’s theater?
- It promotes fluency.
- It helps readers learn to read aloud with expression.
- It helps build reading confidence.
How to use reader’s theater
- Choose a story that can be divided into parts, or character. Tips on choosing scripts ›
- Assign reading parts to each child.
- Ask students to read their scripts orally for practice.
- Have students read assigned parts to the audience.
Watch: Reader’s theater
Reading aloud from a script that has been adapted from a favorite book is a fun and motivating approach to instruction in fluency and expression. (From the Balanced Literacy Diet: Putting Research into Practice in the Classroom)
Reader’s theater lesson plans (with scripts):
Reader’s theater scripts:
Teachers can use reader’s theater as an instructional technique for mathematical word problems. This example could be used for a reader’s theater about 100’s day and the concept of 100 .
Here are reader’s theater scripts about America in varying reading levels.
For second language learners, students of varying reading skill, and younger learners
- Use easier scripts with fewer words for younger or struggling readers.
- Write the script (or the student’s part of the script) with print that is easy to read i.e. larger or in preferred font. Supply Braille scripts when needed.
- Give the student their part in advance. Encourage them to practice at home with their parents
- Have students read parts together.
- Allow advanced students to write parts of the script.
- When assigning roles, be sensitive to students’ individual needs. Assign roles accordingly; provide extra, individual practice if needed.
See the research that supports this strategy
Bafile, C. (2005). Reader’s Theater: Giving Students a Reason to Read Aloud.
Prescott, J. (2003). The Power of Reader’s Theater .