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: 225

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

Jordan Stevenson updated their profile
Oct 2
Profile IconSophia Woodstone, John Maker, Hadeel Elsayed and 17 more joined The Educator's PLN
Sep 26
yahaya Abdullahi shared George Danke's discussion on Facebook
Sep 11
Christine Hinkley updated an event

OLC Innovate 2020 at Sheraton Grand Chicago

March 31, 2020 to April 3, 2020
Together we will build new foundations for stronger, better higher education environments. And because innovation scales best when ideas are shared, our work sessions will explore digital technologies and adapted teaching behaviors aimed at informing policy, inspiring leadership, and evolving practice at all levels impacting institutions, universities and colleges.CALL FOR PROPOSALS OPEN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2019. LEARN MORE:…See More
Sep 10
yahaya Abdullahi liked George Danke's discussion Integration with The Latest Technology in Education Field
Aug 28
yahaya Abdullahi posted a status
"still working on the integration of ICT in teaching Biology"
Aug 28
Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Innovate 2020 at Sheraton Grand Chicago

March 31, 2020 to April 3, 2020
Together we will build new foundations for stronger, better higher education environments. And because innovation scales best when ideas are shared, our work sessions will explore digital technologies and adapted teaching behaviors aimed at informing policy, inspiring leadership, and evolving practice at all levels impacting institutions, universities and colleges.CALL FOR PROPOSALS OPEN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2019. LEARN MORE:…See More
Aug 19
George Danke posted a discussion

Integration with The Latest Technology in Education Field

It is with certainty that we can say that the future of education is looking very bright. Today the kids are taught so many new innovations that we adults couldn't have imagined learning at school. They are also given exposure to more practical lessons. Integration with the latest technology and the accessibility to global platforms have made the industry take a whole new perspective towards imparting knowledge to students. Though the current generation is much advanced and keep up with the…See More
Jul 25

© 2019   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service