While teaching the elementary-aged sector, some of my fondest memories were those of producing our Readers’ Theatre performances. When working with the wee little ones, I would interpret the text for them, coaching the young actors – line by line. My older students created scripts of their own based on sections of the novels we were studying. In either case, producing Readers’ Theatre scripts proved to be the most memorable, enjoyable, and interactive ways of engaging with the language arts.
In the article What is Readers Theatre, Literacy Specialist Linda Cornwell explains that the “…Readers Theater is an integrated approach for involving students in reading, writing, listening, and speaking activities. It involves children in sharing literature, reading aloud, writing scripts, performing with a purpose, and working collaboratively.” Well, I guess my students and I would have made Ms. Linda mighty proud! We did all of those things and more!
No props are necessary to produce a Readers’ Theatre. All you need is band of willing readers and a script inspired by an interesting and compelling story, one that, as Ms. Cornwell states, has, “…interesting characters, conflict, plot action, and humor.” Folks, Liz Garton Scanlon’s latest picture book The Good-Pie Partyis a shining example of such a story.
In The Good-Pie Party, heart-broken Posy is going to have to move, leaving her dearest friends behind. Instead of focusing on the tragedy of being torn apart, the kids decide to throw a huge neighborhood pie potluck party! Their efforts result in a smashing success! The plot is as simple and sweet as an apple turnover, perfectly suited for a Readers’ Theatre adaptation, which is exactly what we did.
To get a sense of what a Readers’ Theatre script looks like access the Curriculum Guide created for The Good-Pie Party. Also, note that a number of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and Core Curriculum State Standards are met by performing pieces such as this.
Goodness me! All of this delicious academic goodness and they’re down-right fun to perform!
Reference: "Scholastic.com for Librarians | What Is Readers Theater." Scholastic.com for Librarians | What Is Readers Theater. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. <http://www.scholastic.com/librarians/programs/whatisrt.htm>.