Tried It Tuesday: Using Reader’s Theater

I’m linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper today for Tried It Tuesday! This exciting linky party occurs on the second “Twosday” of every month. This time we’re covering one of my favorite subjects: reader’s theater!
Reader's theater is an excellent way to help students develop fluency, comprehension, and other important reading skills. Read about how I used reader's theater during my reader's workshop.


Using Reader’s Theater in the Classroom

Along with comprehension, fluency is a critical component of reading. In my classroom, I teach reading using the Reader’s Workshop model. In the beginning, I wanted to make sure students practiced oral fluency each day, so I created a center to do this during workshop. However, I found it was distracting and a bit noisy. That’s when I decided to have my students practice fluency for approximately 10 minutes or so each day just before I begin my reader’s workshop.

I have utilized many methods: echo reading with me, poetry pieces, 6-minute solution, task cards, and reader’s theater. That’s why I was super excited when I discovered that Deb Hanson from Crafting Connections created partner plays. I have followed Deb for years now and have loved her craftivities. They are always engaging, and my students have benefited from them. That’s why I thought I would give these partner plays a try. She actually has a free partner play that you can download to try! Click here to check it out!

Reader's Theater: Deb Hanson's Partner Plays


Five Great Reasons I Love These Reader’s Theater Plays

1.)  They are engaging. The students love the stories and have learned quite a bit just from reading them. Deb offers partner plays in both science and social studies. She also has plays tailored to reading concepts, such as figurative language and reading strategies.

2.)  They are short and sweet. I love that her partner plays aren’t very long. This makes it great for those quick moments before my workshop!

3.)  There are a variety. I love that Deb has well over 180 partner plays and that I can even find some related to holidays or particular concepts.

4.)  I can differentiate. We all have students who are reading at a much higher level and students who are reading a bit low. She has partner plays that are for grades 2-3 and for grades 4-5 so I can tailor them to my students’ needs.

5.)  The prep is quick and easy! I don’t have to do anything but make copies and hand them out. I don’t have to highlight parts because she took care of that by underlining roles. It’s nice to have a quick fluency center ready to go without having to gather many different things.

Reader's Theater: Students practicing fluency with partner plays.Reader's Theater: Students practicing fluency with partner plays.

We also utilized the free response sheet she offers after we read our partner plays. The kids really enjoyed this activity, and it got them discussing what they read! Sometimes I pull a few students during this time to work more one-on-one with them.

Once in a while, I do return to echo reading, six-minute solution, or a poetry piece. However, each time I do the kids are disappointed that they aren’t doing another partner play! They absolutely love the reader’s theater, and I know your kiddos will too!

For more ways to practice fluency, take a look at this post!

22 Responses

  1. Depending on the price: I would love either Partner Plays 2nd- 3rd BUNDLE.. SET 1 (90 2-person scripts to improve fluency)

    Or the Amazing Animals: Partner Plays (five scripts to improve fluency) 2nd & 3rd

    I already own the states of matter partner plays, and my students really love it (it doesn't hurt that it ties into our curriculum!!)
    [email protected]

  2. These look so nice. My students love partner plays. I think they are a huge fluency helper. The kids seem to think they are just having fun and not learning. I'm always wanting some good quality ones which seem hard to find. The ones we currently use are not the greatest. Thanks!

  3. I would be happy with any of them as they look super! My class are currently improving this inference skills so I would choose that first.

  4. I'd love the 4th-5th Grade Bundle! I used the Christmas Around the World with my kiddos and it was great! Fun to do, great practice, and interesting information that the kids could discuss and share. Love these!


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