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Teen Readers and Read Across America (page 2)

Teen Readers and Read Across America

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Updated on Feb 26, 2010

Stage It!

Drama, especially reader's theater, is a great way to help students build their reading skills. In reader's theater, students begin with a book or story and adapt it into script format, constructing parts for students and setting up dialogue and movement, if any.

In this way, the book comes alive with the voices, expressions and movement of the readers, and the readers realize how much fun it can be to read aloud. Here a just a few tips to help you stage your own reading.

  • Choose your book or short story. You can find books or stories you and your students can adapt or you can find existing scripts on a number of websites specializing in reader's theater. Look for pieces that have strong characters and plots.
  • Have the students listen to and discuss the story. Do this especially if you want students to write the script themselves. Talk about the story line and the elements. Let them talk about the characters and the emotions they feel.
  • Have the students work in groups to work out their roles. Even though they may be reading the piece out loud, students can work together to choose words and expressions that make the piece come alive.
  • Rehearse your reading and play around with the rhythm. Teens are known to be creative — let them play with the words and visual images they create.
  • Talk about the story behind the script. Even a staged reading has a real-life meaning. Find out what students are thinking. The exchange could be rich indeed.
  • Set the stage and have fun!

 Reprinted with permission from AdLit.org.

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