Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Text Structure Readers Theatre

So here is my problem with text structure. For some students, the mere mention of "cause and effect" is enough to get them to remember it. These students learn quickly and easily. A little bit of instruction goes a long way.

But for other students, text structure is a lot of content to learn. These students need repeated exposures to an idea in order to learn it. They need to hear the word, say the word, see the word, and act out the concept. They can't remember the difference between a cause and effect; they don't know how to pronounce the word "solution"; they get lost in the syllables of "chronological".

Readers Theatre is the perfect way to give students repeated exposure to these words. As students practice their lines, they are practicing the important words related to text structure. Over a snowy weekend, I created four scripts--one each for chronological order, cause and effect, problem and solution, and compare and contrast. Are the scripts a little silly? Of course! I want kids to enjoy performing them, so I tried to add in lots of action and some funny parts.

Text Structure Readers Theatre

I can see these being used in two different ways. In my classroom, groups of students are working on one script throughout the week, and will hopefully perform their work to another class of students. But it would be just as effective to put the scripts in a fluency center and have students cycle through practicing the different scripts.

We had so much fun doing these scripts yesterday and today! I got the big acting break that I've been waiting for...due to a student absence, I got to be the Writing Fairy. It was about as much fun as you can have on a snowy Tuesday afternoon.

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