Reader’s Theater

Throughout our school, classrooms are humming with the sounds of students performing “Reader’s Theater.”  According to Linda Cornwell of, “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.

Readers Theater is readers reading a script adapted from literature, and the audience picturing the action from hearing the script being read aloud.  It requires no sets, costumes, props, or memorized lines.  Instead of acting out literature as in a play, the performer’s goal is to read a script aloud effectively, enabling the audience to visualize the action.  Performers bring the text alive by using voice, facial expressions, and some gestures.

For an example, check out Ms. Wegner’s class performing Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears:

Wegner Group 1  and Wegner Group 2

Benefits of Using Readers Theater in the Classroom or Library?

Readers Theater helps to….

  • develop fluency through repeated exposure to text.
  • increase comprehension.
  • integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening in an authentic context.
  • engage students.
  • increase reading motivation and create confidence and improve the self-image of students.

To view an online video of this Caldecott winning story click here!  Screen shot 2013-11-16 at 1.17.49 PM


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