In this presentation, the presenters provided the audience with the original texts along with the accompanying readers theater scripts. Dr. Grabe explained how readers theater builds a sense of pace and chunking. It is a tool to help increase reading fluency by allowing students to read a quicker speeds. Both Dr. Grabe and Dr. Stoller mentioned that while readers theater is often used in k-12, it is not often used with adult learners and for academic texts.
By showing the differences between the scripts and the original texts, the presenters highlighted the ways to adapt a reading passage into a readers theater script. Here are some of the take away tips for adapting scripts.
Tips For Creating Scripts
- Break up a long text and consider making a script on one section rather than the whole article
- Add questions to help move the script along
- Add conversational language to help progress the script
- Change pronoun references so that it is more conversational
- Include an introduction to the script topic, such as a news reporter, radio announcer, or talk show host explaining the topic and who they will interview
- Once a script has been created (usually by teachers unless you have an advanced class), a group gets copies of the script and rereads it a number of times on their own. During this time the teacher should demonstrate pronunciation and emphasis of different words and explain any unknown vocabulary.
- Students could choose their characters as opposed to having the teacher assign them.
- Then the group gets together and rehearses in their groups.
- Finally there is a group performance.
Readers Theatre Websites