Reader's Theater Tips From Teach123

Michelle Divkey

Editor's note: The plays in Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. are always a huge hit with students—and it's easy to see why. They're engaging, digestible, and tons of fun! Teachers like them for the fluency boost reading aloud gives their students. Plus, they are perfect for those last few weeks of the school year. ​Teacher Michelle Divkey has some AMAZING ideas for how to incorporate reader's theater into your curriculum. This post was created for Scholastic's #SmartTeachingTips campaign. Search the hashtag for lots of other amazing teaching tips!

As you know, I love reading and giving stuff away. When Scholastic contacted me and asked if I would be willing to tell my readers about their magazines, it was a quick yes.

Do you have any budding actors and actresses in your class this year? Channel all of that creative energy and increase your students' fluency skills with Readers Theater. The October/November issue of Storyworks Jr. magazine includes the Readers Theater script, Yeh Shen: A Chinese Cinderella Story
Getting a Storyworks Jr. magazine in the mail is like getting a gift for yourself. Readers Theater is fun, which keeps students engaged at this crazy time of the year.



You can organize the performance of Yeh Shen: A Chinese Cinderella Story different ways. Add a simple prop like the red fan (in the picture at the top of the page) to make it more engaging for your students. I found the fan at Dollar Tree this summer. I also bought a box of fans (dozen) at a party supply store for $2.50.


There are enough parts of the script for half of your class to perform it. Divide your class in two groups. Both groups will perform the play. Write the names of the students in the groups on a marquee sign like the one in the picture above. This will help students remember their group.


Use glitter to add a little glitz to your bulletin board with the play groups.


Color code your groups. Students can wear a necklace with the name of the character or their part of the play. When it is time to practice all you need to do is say, "It is time for the green group to practice" instead of calling a list of students. Color coding is a big time saver!


Let students make their own signs. You can also set this up as a center. You can get a free copy of the play signs and marquee here.


Your students fluency skills will improve with all of the practicing they will happily do. I'm sure your students will want to know when the next issue of Storyworks Jr. is coming so they can begin the next play!





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