Friday, October 4, 2013

Implementing Readers Theater

Readers Theater
Offers Engaging Opportunities
to Get Kids READING
Check Out the NCBLA's Education Resource Guide and Make It Happen

The NCBLA, in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of
Congress, presented a Children's "Literary Lights" Readers
Theater presentation
at the 2013 National Book Festival. Pictured L-R:
Katherine Paterson, Jon Scieszka, Lynda Johnson Robb as Cowboy,
Carol Rasco as Octopus, Susan Cooper, Grace Lin, and Mary Brigid Barrett.
Readers Theater dramatic presentations are in many ways like radio plays. In a Readers Theater production, performers stand in place onstage, reading their lines from a script, using their voices to heighten comedy and drama; costumes and sets are limited or nonexistent. Readers Theater productions became popular during and after World War II when financial resources to produce plays were limited. 
The NCBLA's recent Readers Theater included two readers
costumed as Jon Scieszka's Cowboy and Octopus, but a
successful Readers Theater does not require costumes or
props. Costumes designed and constructed by Elizabeth Barrett
Groth. To see more of Elizabeth's work, visit

Readers Theater Motivates Kids to Read and Write MORE
Educators have embraced Readers Theater as a compelling literacy and literature art form that not only enhances young people’s reading skills, but also builds young people’s critical and creative thinking skills, especially when young people create their own Readers Theater scripts based on books, personal stories, and current events. A 1999 study by Strecker, Roser, and Martinez showed that second graders who participated in Readers Theater productions on a regular basis, made, on average, more than a year’s growth in reading. Readers Theater motivates young people to read and write more; it is a learning activity that is both interesting and fun. 

Print Our Readers Theater Education Resource Guide
The NCBLA has created an easy-to-print Readers Theater Education Resource Guide to help you engage young people in writing their own productions in classrooms, camps, Boys and Girls Centers, YMCAs, backyard decks, or family living rooms. To check it out on website, click here.