Teachers of reading have begun to adapt Reader’s Theatre as a new instructional strategy in their classroom. The Reader’s Theatre strategy combines reading aloud, repetitive readings, and performing which not only motivates students to read, but it also increases reader’s fluency. As the student is assigned a role, they are required to read their parts over and over again. This repetitive reading fosters student’s fluency and comprehension.
A study was done in a third-grade classroom in the South conducted by the teacher (2013). The study looked closely at 19 students from low-income families that mainly consisted of struggling readers, especially in the area of fluency. The research was done by an intervention research method that took place over six weeks. After administering a pretest, the teacher implemented Reader’s Theatre in her reading instruction to see if it would impact the development of fluency and reading comprehension among the students. The teacher then administered a posttest to see if there were any changes between the two tests. The results of the six-week study concluded that Reader’s Theatre not only increases a student’s fluency and reading comprehension, but it increases word recognition, speed, student’s motivation, and encourages deeper questioning and insight. The study showed that the repeated reading of scripts chorally, in pairs, and individually makes the students familiar with the text, gets them comfortable with reading it aloud to the class, and acquaints them enough with the structure of the text that they are then able to move on from mastering oral reading fluency to the next step of reading which is comprehending and analyzing what has been read.
I think one of the biggest hurdles to teaching reading is getting students engaged in the text. Reader’s Theatre is a wonderful instructional strategy to implement in reading instruction. It will engage students in the text with participation in reciting their lines and the performances are new and fun for them. I am looking forward to using Reader’s Theatre in my classroom and to see my students not only show me their performances that they work on, but I am also looking forward to seeing my students display their fluency!
Beisley, R., Caldwell, S., Mraz, M., Nichols, W., Ripley, W., & Sargent, S. (2013). Improving
oral reading fluency through reader’s theatre. Reading Horizons, 52(2), 163-180. http://