Readers theatre


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Reader’s Theater

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Teaching 21st Century Skills

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By: Marilyn Weidenbach Sioux Falls, SD

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Using Reader’s Theater to teach 21st Century Skills

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What is Reader’s Theater? Children read from scripts. Simple sets. Minimal props.

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Who is Reader’s Theater for? Reader’s Theater is for everyone! A whole class A small group ELL students

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Reader’s Theater promotes: High levels of student engagement Feelings of competence Sense of belonging Choices Communication Cooperation Motivation Joy of learning!

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Communication Speaking so others understand. Reading for understanding. Conveying ideas. Listening actively.

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Collaboration Learning cooperatively. Valuing contributions of others. Negotiating and resolving conflicts. Working together as a team.

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Problem Solving Defining the problem and its variables. Generating and testing ideas. Making decisions.

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Analytical Thinking Planning Developing strategies Evaluating information Prioritizing

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Reader’s Theater Working together creatively and cooperatively!

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CLICK, CLACK, MOO Cows that type. By Doreen Cronin CLICK, CLACK, MOO

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Model fluent reading. Read the story to the children or have them listen to a tape or CD. This will help to prevent any possible areas of difficulty.

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Distribute scripts. Children read the scripts independently. Each child writes down his or her top three choices for who they would like to be. Rank them in order of preference.

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What if several children want the same part? They practice the part independently. This provides a purpose for reading fluently, with expression. Then read to the teacher. Much like the experience of auditioning for a play.

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Distribute their scripts. This is how I announce parts… Students come to class and receive their scripts! An adaptation to make for students is to re-type the scripts substituting their names for the characters’ names. You may also re-assign some of the parts to provide more equity in the number of speaking lines. *All decisions made by the teacher/director are final, unless mutually agreed upon by the group.

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CLICK, CLACK MOO Cows That Type By Doreen Cronin Characters Narrator Hens and Duck The cows Farmer Brown Narrator: Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears Cow: Click, Clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. Narrator: At first he couldn’t believe his ears. Cows that type? Impossible! Cow: Click, Clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. Narrator: Then, he couldn’t believe his eyes. (Put sign up on the barn door.)

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CLICK, CLACK MOO Cows That Type By Doreen Cronin Cow: Dear Farmer Brown, The barn is very cold at night. We’d like some electric blankets. Sincerely, The Cows Narrator: It was bad enough the cows had found the old typewriter in the barn, now they wanted electric blankets! Farmer Brown: “No way! No electric blankets.” Narrator: said Farmer Brown. So the cows went on strike. They left a note on the barn door. Cows: Sorry. We’re closed. No milk today! Farmer Brown: “No milk today!” Narrator: cried Farmer Brown. In the background, he heard the cows busy at work. Cows: Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. Narrator: The next day, he got another note: Cows: Dear Farmer Brown, The hens are cold too. They’d like electric blankets. Sincerely, The Cows Narrator: The cows were growing impatient with the farmer. They left a new note on the barn door. Duck: Closed. No milk. No eggs.

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CLICK, CLACK MOO Cows That Type By Doreen Cronin Farmer Brown: “No eggs!” Narrator: cried Farmer Brown. In the background he heard them. Cows: Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. Farmer Brown: “Cows that type. Hens on strike! Whoever heard of such a thing? How can I run a farm with no milk and no eggs?” Narrator: Farmer Brown was furious. Farmer Brown got out his own typewriter. Farmer Brown: Dear Cows and Hens, There will be no electric blankets. You are cows and hens. I demand milk and eggs. Sincerely, Farmer Brown Duck: Duck was a neutral party, so he brought the ultimatum to the cows. Cows: The cows held an emergency meeting. All the animals gathered around the barn to snoop, but none of them could understand “Moo”. Narrator: All night long, Farmer Brown waited for an answer. Duck: Duck knocked on the door early the next morning. He handed Farmer Brown a note: Cows: Dear Farmer Brown, We will exchange our typewriter for electric blankets. Leave them outside the barn door and we will send Duck over with the typewriter. Sincerely, The Cows Narrator: Farmer Brown decided this was a good deal. He left the blankets next to the barn door and waited for Duck to come with the typewriter. Duck: The next morning he got a note: Dear Farmer Brown, The pond is quite boring. We’d like a diving board. Sincerely, The Ducks Ducks: Click, clack, quack. Click, clack, quack. Clickety, clack, quack!

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Helpful tips for Readers: Highlight only the words you are speaking, not the role titles. Underline directions or write them in pencil. If there are words that you are not sure of, look them up in the dictionary. Practice different ways your character might move or sound. Hold your script so you can see the audience. Speak slowly, clearly and loudly. If you make a mistake, keep going. Have fun!

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Book Review Questions Knowledge: 1 point each 1. Where does the story take place? 2. Who are the characters? Comprehension: 2 points each 1. What was the problem in this book? 2. What was the solution? 3. Tell about the story in your own words. Application: 3 points each 1. Pretend you are one of the characters in this story. 2. Keep a diary about your life. 3. List the places in the book that are important, make a map. 4. How would you solve the problem? Analysis: 4 points each 1. Name five ways that one of the characters is like you. 2. What other ways could they have solved their problem? 3. What things could not have happened in real life? Synthesis: 5 points each 1. Make an advertisement for the Reader’s Theater. 2. Design costumes for the characters. 3. Design and build the set. 4. Design a poster for the book. 5. Write another story using the same characters. 6. Name one character; rewrite the story from their point of view. Evaluation: 6 points each 1. Would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not? 2. Do you recommend doing Reader’s Theater? Why or why not? 3. Design a rubric to evaluate your performance during the process. 4. Do you agree or disagree with how the problem was solved? Why or why not?

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There are many free resources for Reader’s Theater scripts on the Internet. These are a few of my favorites …

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“Teaching should be such… that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.” -- Albert Einstein

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Summary: Readers Theatre

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