Readers On Stage: Resources for Readers Theater, With Tips, Worksheets, and Reader's Theatre Play Scripts, or How to Do Simple Children's Plays That Build Reading Fluency and Love of Literature

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Overview

Want to try reader's theater but don't know where to start? Or have you tried it but want to find ways to bring it more to life? Or are you just looking for a fun, easy way to lure young people into reading fluency, cooperative effort, effective communication, and love of literature?

"Readers on Stage" is a collection of resources for scripting, directing, and teaching reader's theater, primarily to ages 8 and up. Part 1 offers three sample scripts to learn from and enjoy: "The Legend of Lightning Larry," "Peddler Polly and the Story Stealer," and "The Baker's Dozen." Part 2 highlights each major aspect of reader's theater -- scripting, staging, and dramatic reading -- offering tips and tricks you're not likely to find elsewhere. For instance, you'll learn how young readers can easily create their own scripts!

Part 3 provides all the plans, notes, handouts, and worksheets from actual reader's theater workshops, ready for copying. Use them to start with reader's theater tomorrow in a classroom or library, or to lead your own workshop for adults. Finally, Part 4 gives listings of additional resources.

Whether you're working with young readers, training teachers, or directing a professional company, you'll want this unique, detailed guide.

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Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of numerous children's books and magazine stories, as well as three books on reader's theater, "Stories on Stage," "Folktales on Stage," and "Readers on Stage." He spent five years as a professional actor in reader's theater, performing in schools and conducting workshops for teachers, librarians, and students. He now hosts Aaron Shepard's RT Page, the Web's most popular reader's theater destination, with visits by thousands of teachers and librarians each week.

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"At last! If you've been looking for a complete resource for teaching and using readers theatre, look no further. From scripts, to implementation strategies, to materials for workshops, Readers on Stage has it all. Aaron Shepard draws upon decades of work to provide a practical, well-organized, and reader-friendly book. Don't miss it!" -- Dr. Suzanne Barchers, author, Readers Theatre for Beginning Readers, and publisher, Storycart Press

"For more than a decade, Aaron Shepard has been recognized nationally as an innovative, skilled, highly successful practitioner of readers theatre with emphasis on support of literature and reading, especially for teachers at elementary and middle-school levels. His latest book gives concise, clear, and practical tips for scriptmaking and staging, along with useful scripts and work materials." -- Dr. William Adams, Director, Institute for Readers Theatre

"Readers on Stage is an outstanding resource for teachers. It is arranged so sensibly and cohesively that I cannot imagine anyone who uses it having a problem teaching the intricacies of reader's theater." -- Susan Finney, author, Keep the Rest of the Class Reading and Writing While You Teach Small Groups

"Aaron Shepard does it again! . . . In Shepard's familiar lighthearted style, Readers On Stage distills the world of RT into a highly readable manual for educators and instructors at all levels of the K-12 spectrum. Community theatre folks who take the time to peruse the pages will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of RT as theatre." -- R. Demers, Readers Theatre Digest, Fall 2004

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What People Are Saying

William Adams
For more than a decade, Aaron Shepard has been recognized nationally as an innovative, skilled, highly successful practitioner of readers theatre with emphasis on support of literature and reading, especially for teachers at elementary and middle-school levels. His latest book gives concise, clear, and practical tips for scriptmaking and staging, along with useful scripts and work materials.
Director, Institute for Readers Theatre
Shirlee Sloyer
Aaron Shepard skillfully envelops us in the wonderful world of readers theatre. His new book melds the how-to-do-it with engaging, entertaining scripts. This is a welcome contribution to the field.
—professor, Hofstra University, and author, From the Page to the Stage
Suzanne Barchers
At last! If you've been looking for a complete resource for teaching and using readers theatre, look no further. From scripts, to implementation strategies, to materials for workshops, Readers on Stage has it all. Aaron Shepard draws upon decades of work to provide a practical, well-organized, and reader-friendly book. Don't miss it!
—author, Readers Theatre for Beginning Readers, and publisher, Storycart Press
Rebecca Saunders
"Readers on Stage solves the instructor's problem of how to cover all aspects of readers' theater for the drama student. Even a person experienced in theater has much to learn from Aaron Shepard's insightful book.
Professor of Drama, Lesley University
James Floss
Aaron Shepard has written a breezy, easy guide to help any teacher begin exploring the exciting and imaginative worlds of readers theatre. Every element needed for getting started is here: philosophies, methodologies, helpful tips, and sample scripts. What are the benefits? A child's widened understanding of good stories, enhanced imaginative response, heightened spatial awareness, increased cooperation, and greater love of literature can all result from the program presented in this generous book. Highly recommended!
lecturer, Communication Department, Humboldt State University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938497219
  • Publisher: Shepard Publications
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 110
  • Sales rank: 674,353
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Read an Excerpt

What Is RT? (And How Do You Really Spell It?)

Reader’s theater is minimal theater in support of literature and reading. There are many styles of reader’s theater, but nearly all share these features:

·         Narration serves as the framework of dramatic presentation.

·         No full stage sets. If used at all, sets are simple and suggestive.

·         No full costumes. If used at all, costumes are partial and suggestive, or neutral and uniform.

·         No full memorization. Scripts are used openly in performance.

 

Reader’s theater was developed as an efficient and effective way to present literature in dramatic form. Today as well, most scripts are literary adaptations, though others are original dramatic works.

Popular first in colleges and universities, reader’s theater has now moved to earlier education, where it is seen as a key tool for creating interest and skill in reading. Young people love to do it, and they give it their all—more so because it’s a team effort, and they don’t want to let down their friends! Repeated readings bring fluency, and if a script is based on an available book, kids want to read that too. What’s more, reader’s theater is a relatively simple activity for the teacher, with no required setup other than making copies of scripts.

Reader’s theater has been found effective not only for language arts but for social studies as well. Performing stories based on another culture is one of the best ways for students to become interested in and familiar with that culture.

As to how to spell it, there’s no one right way, so take your pick!

All the following have been used:

reader’s theater

readers’ theater

readers theater

reader’s theatre

readers’ theatre

readers theatre

 

That’s why it’s sometimes easier to call it RT!

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Part 1 ~ RT Scripts
The Legend of Lightning Larry
Peddler Polly and the Story Stealer
The Baker's Dozen

Part 2 ~ RT Tips
Tips on Scripting
Tips on Staging
Tips on Reading

Part 3 ~ An RT Workshop
Sample Materials List
Sample Outlines
Notes and Handouts
Scripting Worksheets

Part 4 ~ Other Resources
Books and Articles
Online Resources
Suppliers
Training
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2005

    A must-have for those new to RT

    This book is an amazing resource for those new to Reader's Theater. Not only does it explain the concept, but it also has reproducible scripts as well as a whole workshop that can be tailored to your time requirements. We used this book as the basis for an in-service on RT and found it to be invaluable. If you've ever wanted to use RT, this is the first book to get.

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    Posted March 11, 2009

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