“Readers’ Theatre: More Than a Class Act!” UNI Elementary Literacy Conference April 15, 2011 Barbara Heitzman, UNI Instructor “THEATER OF THE MIND” Readers’ Theatre is an oral interpretive reading using a script. Traditional presentations include narrator(s) and character(s) reading their scripts while standing or sitting. Music stands may be used to hold the scripts. The goal is to create the illusion of dramatic action through expressive use of voice and gestures; making comprehension of the text meaningful and fun! CREATIVE DRAMA with READERS’ THEATER This variation to traditional RT involves narrator and character voices reading while other participants pantomime the action. Readers may take more than one role (multiple casting.) Or, 2 students may share the same lines speaking together as one voice (double casting.) Set pieces, props, masks and music or sound effects may be incorporated. This form has both onstage and offstage focus. PUPPETRY and READERS’ THEATER Many of the elements of Creative Drama are used. Narrators and character voices read from the script while other participants utilize puppets to act out the story. Chorus voices may speak or sing words. Sound effects can be used. Instead of a script, key words may be read or improvised with the use of pictures that prompt participants to tell the story. This form has both onstage and offstage focus. All forms of Readers’ Theater provide the following student outcomes: Listening, speaking and reading skills Writing skills (if a student adaptation of a story is made into a script) Cooperation and social skills through ensemble work Empathy in role-playing different points of view Expression of feelings and ideas Self-confidence READERS’ THEATER SKILLS PROJECTION speaker’s words can be heard PRONUNCIATION words can be understood VOCAL EXPRESSION voice shows characters’ feelings, creates a mood, builds up the story’s climax READING OF CUES focused and prepared for speaking, pantomiming, etc. TIMING/PACING reading is not too fast/too slow EYE CONTACT eye contact with the audience and/or fellow readers GESTURES gestures and movements add to characterization/setting/plot READERS’ THEATER STAGE DIRECTIONS FTA…………………. Face the Audience BTA………………… Back is to the Audience RRFTA…………….. Rotate Right and Face the Audience RLBTA ……………. Rotate Left, turn Back to the Audience NAR………………… Narrator ( ) …… Suggestion for vocal or facial expression; gesture, musical sound effects SOURCES FOR READERS’ THEATRE SCRIPTS www.aaronshep.com/RTE.html http://www.timelessteacherstuff.com/ http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/reading/index:shtml/theatre http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/playhouse/ http://www.readinga-z.com/guided/theater.html http://www.literacyconnections.com/ReadersTheater.php Readers Theatre for Beginning Readers, S.I. Barchers Readers Theatre Scripted Rhymes and Rhythms, C. Braun, C. & W. Braun A Readers Theatre Treasury of Stories, C.Braun & W. Braun Readers Theatre for Young Children, C. Braun & W. Braun Presenting Readers’ Theatre, C. Feller-Bauer Frantic Frogs and Other Frankly Fractured Folktales For Readers Theatre, A.D. Fredericks Social Studies Readers Theatre for Children, M.K. Laughlin & M. LoBerg Readers Theatre in the Classroom, L. Walker Readers Theatre in the Middle School and Junior High Classroom, L. Walker Stories on Stage: Scripts for Reader’s Theater, A. Shephard Tongue Twisters Warming up that linguistic intelligence! Divide students into small groups and provide a list of tongue twisters Each group chooses one to practice One by one, students go around their group’s circle and say the tongue twister Repeat but say VERY FAST 3x! Repeat again with an exaggerated emotion (examples: sad, angry, surprised, scared, confused, happy, etc.) Each group practices as one choral voice reading their tongue twister with exaggerated emotion 3x Groups share their tongue twister with the class A noisy noise annoys an oyster. Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks. While we were walking, we were watching window washers wash Washington’s window with warm washing water. Betty and Bob brought back blue balloons from the big bazaar. Toy boat. Toy boat. Toy boat. Fat frogs flying past fast. Shy Shelly says she shall sew sheets. The myth of Miss Muffett is moot. The “sawingest” saw I ever saw was the saw I saw in Arkansas.
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