Tips for Creating a Readers Theater Script

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Linda Cornwell, Literacy Expert and former teacher, Carmel, Indiana

It is not necessary to use a piece of literature in its entirety. Pieces and excerpts of the story can be used very effectively.  Be sure to keep in mind the reading level of the readers in selecting a piece of text.  Choose text that is within the reach of your readers and that they can read aloud successfully, given repeated practice.

Start with picture books.  Model how to create a script and create several scripts as a class before asking the students to create their own scripts in small, cooperative groups. Once you have selected the piece of text you wish to adapt to script form, show the students how to ….

  • determine what portions of the text to leave in to be true to the story line, characters, or topic and which portions can be deleted.
  • delete the less critical passages: descriptions, transitions, etc.
  • rewrite or modify those passages that need to be included but require adaptation.
  • keep speeches and narrative passages short.
  • divide the parts for the readers.

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