Readers' Theatre is an oral reading activity that allows a students to understand by them acting out the plot. Students use their voices, facial expressions and hand gestures to interpret characters in scripts or stories. Teachers and students may adapt favorite stories for readers' theatre through shared script writing activities. Readers' theatre enriches oral and reading vocabularies by just getting students reading. .
The design for Readers" Theatre came about in the late 60's in classrooms of Canada. Readers" Theatre started in the classroom because many teachers observed students wanting to become characters they are reading about in the book. This is one reason we read to use our imagination. Students are drawn to Readers" Theatre, because much of what they see is acting in our visual world. Students watch actors on television, these individuals are their role models. Drama in the classroom gives them a chance to become someone else, just like the individuals they see in the movies and TV shows. Many elementary students want to become actors when they grow up, well Readers" Theatre gives them a chance to get started. .
There are many purposes for using this technique. Many unconfident and beginning teachers use this teaching technique to bring student involvement into the classroom. It also develops students" knowledge and enjoyment for scripted plays as a form of reading. Readers" Theatre provides opportunities to students to talk and act out. Their oral reading in a play format will help them better understand the text and understand the characters by taking on the their characteristics and personality. Readers" Theatre supplies students a chance to communicate meaning through their voice and have an audience interpret and understand the meaning behind the text. Readers" Theatre, also, develops oral reading fluency and silent reading.
Readers" Theatre is very easy, but a powerful technique, because it is gets students to think at a higher level.