Monday, December 3, 2012

Having Fun with Common Core: A Role for Readers Theater

Another great activity for building vocabulary as well as fluency and comprehension is Readers Theater. So it can address CCSS for ELA in the Reading Informational Text #4, #1, and 2.

Additional benefits of RT include:
—Promotes student cooperation.
—Improves listening and speaking skills.
—Helps even the shyest students  develop self-confidence when reading aloud.

Why does Readers Theater work?
—Children are natural performers and love using their imaginations
—RT allows emergent, struggling, and advanced readers to participate in the same activity with equal success.
—It gives repetitive reading a purpose.

Because I’m a science geek, I’m a sucker for RT scripts that teach science. In fact, I’ve written a few of them myself.

Why is RT a good technique for life science instruction?
—Students are more likely to retain science concepts (not to mention new words, which is what CCSS for ELA in the Reading Informational Text #4 focuses on) when they’re incorporated into a fun activity
—Students feel a connection to “their” creature, see the world from that animal’s POV
—Students gain a deeper understanding of animal behaviors and lifestyles
—Students learn how living things interact
—Students become more aware of the roles plants and animals play in their environment.

So if you haven’t given Readers Theater a try, now’s your chance. And because writing scripts is often better than trying to find one that’s already published, I’ll teach you how to over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

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