Readers Theater - from Mr. Harper Makes Us Speak and Read Good… er
I could spend a good portion of this space ranting about the ill-effects of end of grade testing and what it has done to take the joy out of reading, but I suspect you already know that. Instead, I’m going to offer up this project as an antidote.
Readers Theater comes in a variety of forms and what I’m offering you are two versions of the many that are out there - competitive readers theater and novel study readers theater. What makes our version profitable for you is the rubric that is included which really forces students to make the most out of their presentations both physically and vocally. I believe it will also help you to have each day laid out for you in terms of objectives, expectations and the time spent on task.
That said, the bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter whether you use my versions or any of the alternatives. You want to include SOMEONE’S approach because today’s English class desperately needs something to relieve the tedium that has been brought about by a misplaced faith in the importance of a single test at the end of the school year. You need to bring back the fun that students used to have when the teacher read them a great story and it was all about the delights of story telling. As English teachers we are supposed to be the ambassadors to literature, to bring about a love of reading for all time and not just to fill in the right bubble. You do this project to take a stand against those who seem so determined to make ours the least favorite class of the day instead of the best.
Whichever version you use, you won’t regret it. If you like what it does for your class, come back to my site and try some of our other projects, because I know you’ll enjoy those as well. I wage a life long battle against the forces of tedium and readers theater is not the only weapon.