Circle Road by Shel Silverstein
Circle Road by Shel Silverstein
Poetry Interpretation Using Scratch
Batty by Shel Silverstein
Batty by Shel Siverstein
Readers Theatre using Scratch
Poetry Interpretation Using “Scratch”
Readers Theatre is a form of theatre or drama. As its title suggests, it focuses on reading. It’s a reading and learning tool that adds fun and excitement to oral reading activities, and helps stimulate interest in reading and learning. It helps improve reading skills by providing a purpose for practicing reading, and can also improve understanding of what is being read.
There are different styles of Readers Theatre. However, generally, it involves readers reading aloud. In this project they use their voices to interpret a poem. It’s nonthreatening, since readers have a script and get to practice repeatedly before creating the piece.
It’s different from regular theatre in a number of ways. It’s much simpler because it is not meant to represent reality, so…
- Readers interpret the text of the poem orally, rather than act it out.
- Readers don’t try to become the characters, like actors do, although they use their voices to bring life to the characters.
- Readers don’t have to memorize lines. They use their reading texts or scripts to record their voices for the final product.
- Readers create the visual images for the performance using “Scratch”.
What are some benefits of Readers Theatre?
Besides being simple for parents, teachers or instructors to organize, Readers Theatre using “Scratch” provides a number of benefits for readers and listeners.
- It’s fun!
- It promotes cooperation and teamwork.
- It helps develop an interest in reading and can transform reluctant readers into enthusiastic readers.
- It’s non-threatening.
- Repeated reading, taping and playback help improve oral language skills.
- The repeated reading practice helps improve confidence and self-esteem and develop reading fluency.
- Since the script is based on an poem, readers and listeners often want to read the read the poem themselves.
- It informs, as well as entertains.
- It can promote learning across the curriculum: in language arts, social studies, science, math.
- The scripts can be in any language.
- It improves listening skills.
- If readers write their own scripts, it can promote an interest in writing, and can improve writing and thinking skills.
- It provides an opportunity for students to interpret stories and communicate meaning.
- It helps develop an appreciation of literature.
Readers Theatre in Five Easy Steps
Readers Theatre is easy. To get started, here’s a summary of what you need to do.
- Choose a script. Choose a prepared script or have participants choose a poem from which to develop an RT script.
- Adapt the script. If adapting, participants identify speaking parts and break down the text into dialogue.
- Assign parts. Participants might try out different parts to get a feel for them, and then choose their roles themselves.
- Highlight parts and rehearse. Participants highlight their dialogue, and then practice their lines at home and in groups during school.
- Design the graphics using “Scratch”. Create the stage, sprites, and actions using the coding modules available in “Scratch”
- The cast records the script using the recording components of “Scratch”.
- The cast plays their “Scratch Production” for an audience, often made up of parents or younger students.
Finding and Choosing Scripts
You can find poems suitable for Readers Theatre in many anthologies, but you will also find them on a variety Internet sites. Most of them are free for educational or non-commercial purposes. You can download them, print them and copy them.
Choose poems that:
- are fun
- are high quality
- are likely to be interesting to the readers and listeners
- are appropriate for the age, grade and reading levels of the readers and listeners
- can be easily read
- contain expressive language
When doing Readers Theatre with young children, it is important to choose an easy poem or rhyme that is predictable and/or has a lot of repetition for younger children.
Using a prepared script is the best way to start. There are two other options, however, that involve writing a script:
- You, and/or your students, can create your own script from a poem or poet that you are currently studying in class
- Students can create their own original poems and convert them into a script
Adapted from the NWT Literacy Council “How To Kit: Readers Theatre”