By Adria Klein
Readers Theater is a teaching approach that gives students power over print. Students are asked to read and interpret text through performance reading. Every time we have worked with a group of students, there is a moment of hesitation after we ask them how we could read and interpret a line of a story for the purpose of performance. They begin to see performance not as a punishment for their own possibly inadequate fluency efforts, but as a purposeful task and a tool for improving communication.
The teachers see students reading clearly improve after the children have chosen words for emphasis in oral interpretation in class. The transfer to their own work after they have interpreted a familiar text via an oral performance has been repeatedly demonstrated by the children in independent reading.