When I visit schools, one of the favorite activities to do with young students is reader's theatre. I am always surprised how many kids have not been introduced to this activity. Reader's theatre involves taking the story and writing a short script to be acted out, or choosing a selection from the story to act out. Sometimes, a pre-written script is used. When I work with kids, I use puppets and a script that the children read out loud. Reader's theatre is a wonderful classroom tool for creating enthusiasm and increasing comprehension. But reader's theatre can also be a terrific at-home activity.
While there are numerous reader's theatre scripts available, at home, you can be creative and less structured with reader's theatre. There are many fun options including puppets, or costumes to dress up like the characters of a favorite book. If you have a few neighborhood kids in your home for a play date, each of them can create a short script from the perspective of different characters. It is a great way to get kids involved with each other. The beauty of reader's theatre at home, it that is effective for all reading levels, from picture books to chapter books and middle grade novels. Not only does reader's theatre foster reading and writing skills, it is terrific groundwork for public speaking. Even if a child is home alone, reader's theatre can be a fun activity, as long as a parent or friend is a willing audience. Readers' theatre can also be a gateway to writing plays and other performing arts. Before you know it, you might have e neighborhood theater group in your backyard or basement.
To learn more about reader's theatre, there is a wealth of online sources available. Here are a few you can check-out: