Monday, March 22, 2010

The Power of Reader’s Theater: An easy way to make dramatic changes in kidss fluency, writing, listening, and social skills

Prescott, J.O. (2003). The Power of Reader’s Theater: An easy way to make dramatic changes in kidss fluency, writing, listening, and social skills. Instructor, Jan/Feb 2003.

In this article Jennifer Prescott shows the benefits of implementing Reader’s Theater (RT) into the curriculum. She states that RT can “boost listening and speaking skills, enhance confidence, and transform reluctant readers into book lovers.” Prescott gives examples of classrooms that have used RT successfully. Five steps are recommended to implement RT: (1) choose a script (2) adapt the script (3) assign parts (4) highlight parts and rehearse (5) perform.

The strength of this article lies in the fact that positive outcomes occurred across all grade levels. Not only did students increase their fluency, but self-esteem also rose. RT can be used with all type of students in all grades to encourage creative expression, collaboration, and a deeper understanding of content. I am excited to be focusing on RT in my classroom and the difference it can make socially, emotionally, and academically.

"research has demonstrated that practiced reading or repeated reading does lead to significant gains in fluency, which is a key element in effective reading programs."

"Readers' theatre provides readers with a legitimate reason to reread text and to practice fluency. [RT] also promotes cooperative interaction with peers and makes the reading task appealing."

Linda Cornwell, an education consultant and former teacher from Carmel, Indiana, explains that "while RT has a lot of power on its own, the power is greatly increased when kids prepare their own scripts — they are truly integrating reading, writing, and thinking skills."

Another boon of RT is its ability to develop interpersonal, social, and collaborative skills — particularly among struggling students. Linda Cornwell explains, "RT is a hands-on approach that honors different modalities...honors those kids who need a different way of expressing themselves."

1 comment:

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