The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

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How to Inspire Young Readers and Improve Fluency with Readers' Theater

How to inspire young readers and improve reading fluency with readers’ theater


How to Inspire Young Readers and Improve Fluency with Readers' TheaterHave you used readers’ theater scripts in your homeschooling? It is a delightful reading activity to increase fluency and bring life to stories! Inspire struggling readers with interactive stories and dramatic voices! Give your children the chance to get up and move while reading—you may even discover a budding performer in your midst!

What is Readers’ Theater?
Readers’ theater is when the actors in the performance read their scripts instead of memorizing their lines. This style of reading forces children to pay attention to punctuation marks and read with inflection—no more monotone reading aloud!

Why I Adore Readers’ Theater

  • It provides an audience and purpose for children’s reading—to project and entertain.
  • It encourages creativity—to create puppet shows, plays, and character voices.
  • It forces children to maintain their attention and read at appropriate cues. (Often, they are even reading the other parts as well to follow along.)

How I Use Readers’ Theater in Our Homeschooling

  • I use it to give children an authentic reason to read aloud for others.
  • I use it to improve reading accuracy. When children take on the voice of the character, they naturally want to read aloud with more accuracy, feeling, and excitement. This is a rich way to enjoy reading aloud for a meaningful purpose.

My Favorite Resource for Readers’ Theater in Our Homeschooling
Evan-Moor has a terrific series of books called Readers’ Theater for grades 1–6. The scripts are interesting and short enough that the kids can focus.

There are many fun plays in Readers’ Theater such as:

book cover of readers' theaterIf you are looking for more readers’ theater options, the Leveled Readers’ Theater series of books can help you find the readers’ theater scripts that are on your child’s exact reading level, too!

How to Include Readers’ Theater with Any Homeschool Curriculum

  • Fun Fridays—Introduce a new script every Friday for reading practice.
  • Swap theater scripts for your weekly reading lessons. If your child is able to read the script with ease, he or she is ready to perform it.
  • One performance a month—Practice and record one script a month and share it with friends and relatives.

Remember, you can have access to the entire series of Readers’ Theater books and over 400 other titles when you join TeacherFileBox for $12.99 a month or $99 a year per household. Click here for more information on TeacherFileBox for homeschoolers.

Will you add readers’ theater to your homeschooling this year? Let me know in the comments!

Amy Michaels is a certified teacher with 11 years of elementary classroom experience who is actively homeschooling her own children. Her mission is share the best teaching methods and resources with all homeschoolers. Amy supports parents through her podcasts, webinars, and online training for homeschoolers on her website

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