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.