Support Speaking and Listening Standards-Using Rubrics for Reader’s Theater

by Adria Klein

Adria Klein, Literacy Expert

Rubrics are useful tools for setting expectations and learning goals for students. The first column of the rubric is Meeting the Speaking and Listening Standards. There are four rows and each is an aspect of the overall speaking and listening standards, representing a key area in the standards. A four-point scale showing a gradient of growth helps teachers and students set learning goals.

Presentation of Self reflects building self-confidence in sharing and presenting information as a learner through performance.

Energy and Enthusiasm are ways students show interest in a topic and understand the methods for responding in a group; Reader’s Theater is a great vehicle for practicing these areas.

Voice and Pacing are part of daily classroom interactions and can be taught and strengthen through performance activities.

Eye Contact and Body Language begin in the earliest grades as students learn the process of communicating their understandings and holding effective conversations.

A rubric differs from a checklist in that it has broad areas for measuring progress over time. It is part of an effective formative assessment process. The checklists are an integral part of the use of a rubric for meeting standards. Teachers need both to support implementation of Reader’s Theater in the classroom for all students to achieve.

Here is a simple rubric for you to try with your students. Enjoy.

This Reader's Theater rubric will help with assessment for meeting Speaking and Listening goals. Download it and use it with your classroom.
This Reader’s Theater rubric will help with assessment for meeting Speaking and Listening goals. Download it and use it with your classroom.


From Seed to Plant

by Allie Magnusson

My students were excited to begin our plant unit, and the play From Seed to Plant was a great introduction to it that I found in was a real bargain at only 99 cents.

Learning about Seeds to Plants
Students revisit the play on our plant bulletin board.

The play, which is written as a poem, has four characters: Seed/Plant, Soil, Water, and Sun.

All the girls got to play the part of the seed that grows into a plant, and recited the two verses together. Three groups of boys performed each of the remaining characters (one verse each).

Afterwards, we planted bean seeds in wet paper towels, placed them in plastic Ziploc bags, and hung them in the window to watch them grow. After our seeds grew into seedlings, we planted them outside in a big pot and watered them daily to watch them grow even taller. When the beans started to grow like a real plant, we performed the play again and created a bulletin board that covered all of the steps a seed takes to grow into a plant.


Observing our seeds (1)



Soil, Grass, Sky
STEP 1–Sky, grass, soil on the bulletin board
Adding parts of the play!
STEP 2–Sky, grass, soil on the bulletin board


Learning about Seeds to Plants
STEP 3–Sky, grass, soil on the bulletin board

“From Seed to Plant,” from, was an awesome resource that helped make our plant unit “come alive!”

The play is also available in Spanish. De-La-Semilla-A-La-Planta for 99 Cents!


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Allie Magnuson has been teaching kindergarten for 11 years. She loves to incorporate plays into her reading curriculum and is overjoyed by the number and variety of plays available on eReaders Theater. 


Happy Valentine’s Day- Candy Overload?

Exhausted by the Valentine’s Day Celebrations? Too much chaos, too much chocolate? Despairing knowing that now you need to plan for Presidents Day?

Help is on the way with!
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Check out quick and easy plays for the rest of February on–Ready-to-go plays now 99 Cents!

All with teaching ideas and extensions!

Presidents Day Dream

Three Cheers on Presidents Day

Who Wants to be President?

Dreaming of Abe and George