The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Student Created Readers Theater

I’m trying to create more brain-friendly lessons based on what I am learning in my BrainSMART classes. One point of research suggests that students do much better when their subjects are integrated as much as possible. That gave me another bright idea…

My Idea

We are in the midst of a unit about Sequoyah and the Trail of Tears. My idea was to blend our unit with writing, fluency, and vocabulary. Thus my students embarked on a reader’s theater learning adventure combining their knowledge of Sequoyah or the Trail of Tears, with their writing and vocabulary skills.

The Collaboration

My classroom is set up to encourage collaborative work. Therefore, each table group became a reader’s theater group. Students decided as a group whether to focus on Sequoyah or the Trail of Tears. We reviewed what they had learned so far about each subject. I wrote their comments on the smartboard for reference. Finally, they began writing. I had each group write their script on a single piece of paper, with the student who would read each part actually writing down what they would say. At the end I made copies for each person in the group. That way I hoped to avoid ‘handwriting confusion.’

The adventure then began. I gave them a relatively free reign just to see what they could accomplish. It was interesting watching the groups work together to solve problems and make decisions. One group immediately began mining books for more information to reference in their script. Two other groups began by writing out a cast of characters and deciding who would play each part. A fourth group began arguing about which subject to choose, then about who would play each part.

Ready to Perform!

Our script writing took two class periods. I was incredibly proud of how well the groups worked together to solve problems, integrate knowledge, and collaboratively write their scripts. I just couldn’t wait to see the final products! Soon my enthusiastic young writers were rehearsed and ready. I videotaped their first performances so they could critique themselves and add to or delete from their scripts. They were thrilled and motivated to see themselves on the smartboard!

We invited our school principal in to enjoy the final fruits of their labor. He gamely attended the afternoon performance and applauded each group. Even though not every fact was correct, they did a fantastic job. As usual I was humbled by what my second grade students can accomplish… and VERY proud of them. I’m looking forward to our next student created reader’s theater!

Finally

Student created reader’s theater is beneficial because each student writes his or her own part; therefore it’s not too far above any given student’s reading level. Each play is multi-level by default. Specify what vocabulary or spelling words you would like to see included in each play, this way students get ‘real life’ practice with the words. Decide on a writing skill you would like to see reflected in their work. Capitalization? Punctuation? Complete sentences? The list can be as long or as short as you want. A word of caution…don’t put too many restrictions or it will detract from their creativity. When you give this a try, keep in mind that it will get better each time your students participate. Open the creativity gates and integrate those subjects at the same time!

For The Love of Teaching

Views: 228

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

John Maker commented on Catrin Cooper's blog post Top Ways Computer Games Effect Student Creativity Choices
"Good video! I agree that some video games can be useful. As for me I prefer to play casino games on online services like aussielowdepositcasino.com. There are many cool modern games, video slots are my favorite! Highly recommend to try!"
yesterday
Christy Glore joined Shelly Terrell's group
Thumbnail

Edchat

Join this group to extend the discussion of edchat topics!
Dec 3
John Maker commented on Regina Adams's blog post To let or not to let your children to play gambling games?
"I think gambling for young kids is not a good idea. But in general I think it can be like a normal hobby. I play for fun quite often with paypal casino nz and don't spend many money on this. Now you can play even with $1. Such games are good…"
Dec 2
John Maker commented on Veronica Hunt's blog post 10 Top Essay Writing Tools To Ease Your Students’ Lives
"Hi there! Good post, these tips are really useful! I also can share one website which can help you to save time when you writing essay. It is StudyMoose, here you can find many essay examples. Like example check these military essays…"
Dec 1
John Maker commented on Jennifer Broflowski's blog post Symptoms You Should Never Ignore.
"Good post! I also can say that you should pay attention on your mental health. Almost all our problems are from this..If you suffer from insomnia, depression or stress you should do something with this! As for me I found good decision, it is CBD…"
Nov 23
Julia Galkina updated their profile
Nov 19
John Maker commented on Thomas Whitby's video
Thumbnail

Dan Pink on Motivation in Business.

"Great video! I also want to ask question about accounting for business. I read that modern companies prefer to hire remote accountants for tax filing and other work. Is it good variant? I have small business in Singapore and I want to try services…"
Nov 18
Ruth Herman Wells posted an event

Portland OR Teacher Classroom Management Course at Courtyard by Marriott

October 8, 2020 to October 9, 2020
Management problems in the classroom ends here. This Teacher Classroom Management Course delivers hundreds of strategies for students who struggle with motivation, depression, work refusal, violence and more. Visit our website https://www.youthchg.com for more information, or via email (dwells@youthchg.com) or call toll-free to 1-800-545-5736See More
Nov 13

© 2019   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service