As soon as your baby giggles at the funny voice you make while reading to her Dr. Seuss, she is being exposed to theater. When your early reader wants to read parts with you in Piggy and Gerald, he is reading dramatically. When your older child is tearing through graphic novels, she is immersing herself in a dramatic world.
Dramatizing stories is inherently fun and natural, and can be beneficial in understanding other subjects (from history to a second language), and it can also improve the skill of reading itself.
Reader’s Theater is a play script that students read aloud together without the goal of a production, but with the purpose of improving reading skills while making it enjoyable. This process can promote fluency, confidence, creativity, empathy, oral expression and connections among peers.
I love writing theater for children and I love hearing about how you fantastic teachers and students use theater in the classroom. So I'm excited to add a new genre of Reader's Theater to my repetoire. Stay tuned as I will keep adding scripts for early readers up through teens. The scripts can still be used for competitions and performances, but will have a special place as Reader's Theater within the classroom.
Check out my new Reader's Theater play--and while we're on the subject of theater and children, you can browse a short monologue written by a 6-year-old child!