Readers Theater?

In third grade, Liam’s teachers knew him well enough to start stretching him through academics, to expand him socially.


The first way they did this was in having him participate in a Readers Theater group.

The reasons this was good for him were many: it would help him with his prosody, it would reinforce the rules of conversational turn-taking, and it would allow him to be a part of a group.

The reasons he did not want to do this were also plentiful: he didn’t like working in groups because he didn’t always agree with the opinions of others, he didn’t like relying on others for his grade (because he couldn’t control their part of the work), he didn’t like reading aloud (he was embarrassed to “act” the lines out), and he had difficulty navigating the rules of taking turns reading parts and reading like he was speaking.

It was not that he did not understand what to do; he had difficulty making what he understood a reality. Like when I can visualize how to serve a volleyball over the net, but my body doesn’t cooperate. Liam’s brain didn’t readily translate his understanding into performance.

While I cannot say that he grew to love Readers Theater with time and practice, he did learn how to cooperate, work in a group, and read aloud in a slightly less stiff manner.

It was also a huge accomplishment for him because he practiced being flexible and working on a team. We could not have been prouder of him in this achievement.


5 thoughts on “Readers Theater?

  1. I have always loved Readers’ Theater and used it in every grade. I agree, Aileen, it is a great way to foster cooperation and gain fluency at the same time. I often had students create paper plate masks to “hide” behind while performing. It gave many the courage they needed. What an adorable photo of Liam… darn cute!

  2. The benefits of reader’s theater for Liam seem to outweigh the downside. Liam’s teachers sound great. They really know his needs. Great photo too.

  3. I didn’t do that much reader’s theater as a teacher, but I did enough of it to know how powerful it can be for some kids. How wonderful that Liam got exposed to this!

  4. I enjoyed how you shared both the pros and the cons. It sounds like Liam experienced success and that is wonderful. It’s always a bonus to see his smiling face in your posts.

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