Twelve years into educating my children at home, I am always on the lookout for products and curriculum that bring a renewed joy and excitement for learning into our homeschool.
Evan-Moor has produced a series of books called Reader's Theater, with the goal of allowing students to experience the fun of a drama production without the staging, costuming, and logistical issues that come with putting on a play. When I looked at the layout and scope of Reader's
Theater, Grade 3, I knew this book had the potential to both excite my young students and bring a bit of joy into our schoolroom.
I have been using Reader's Theater, Grade 3 with my 4th and 2nd graders. The girls (and I) have a chance to practice reading orally with fluency and expression, and we share a lot of giggles along the way. Each script is just short enough for them to tackle successfully and just long enough to tell a good story from start to finish.
Each grade-level book contains 15 complete scripts. The scripts in the grade 3 book are written for 6 to 12 characters. We just double up or grab an older, willing sibling to participate with us.
The scripts range in topics from a Navajo legend to a modern adaptation of a Grimm's fairytale to a game show all about Davy Crockett. There's definitely something for everyone's taste, and boys and girls alike will be drawn to the scripts because they are age-appropriate and interesting.
Evan-Moor is so very good at integrating curriculum across the scope and sequence. Vocabulary lists are presented at the beginning of each script so that the students can become familiar with words they may not have previously known. There are writing opportunities ("Imagine that you are an immigrant child. Write a letter to Jane Addams. Thank her for the help she gave you and your family. Be sure to tell about the kind of help you got and how it helped you."), synonym searches, math problems (Budget Planner: You have $75.00 to spend on shoes. You'll need three pairs. Use the budget planner to keep track of what you spend), drawing activities, and fill-in-the-blank worksheets. We have used a variety of activities on occasions when I thought the girls could benefit from the reinforcement of these concepts, but at other times we have just enjoyed the script as is.
Reader's Theater, Grade 3 is a good leveling educational activity for the homeschool with varying grades and ages. Struggling readers can be paired with a parent or strong reader, while accelerated readers can be challenged to put on a production worthy of presenting to a group of friends or a homeschool co-op. What fun indeed!