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, Grades 4-5, 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, Grades 4-5 with my 6th, 4th, and 2nd graders. Two daughters, one son, 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.
Reader's Theater, Grades 4-5 contains 8 complete reproducible scripts, and the scripts are written for between 13 and 21 characters. We just double up or grab other willing siblings to participate with us.
The scripts are the exciting part of Reader's Theater, Grades 4-5. They've
been adapted from classic fiction and drama and are stories my children are familiar
betting yours will be too:
* Tales From the Arabian Nights
* Follow the Drinking Gourd
* Tom Sawyer, Detective
* The IT That (Almost) Ate Chicago
* The Legend of Sir Owen
* The Red Badge of Courage
* The Island of Dr. Moreau
* The Midnight Rider
There's definitely something for everyone's taste, and boys and girls
alike will be drawn to the scripts because they are age-appropriate
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. Each script has an accompanying worksheet
that asks the students questions about the play, either for comprehension
purposes or simply to get the students to think about the story.
There are also worksheets that teach something about the art of playacting,
covering topics like props, sound effects, reviewing/critiquing,
theater vocabulary, and elements of a well-written script.
If you think your students will need a bit of encouragement getting
started, you'll be happy to know that Reader's
Theater, Grades 4-5 comes with a read-along audio CD that models
fluency. And in keeping with Evan-Moor's excellent teacher support, you can also
hear a complete reading of each play by logging on to www.weeklyreader.com/readersaudio.
Reader's Theater, Grades 4-5 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 may
be challenged to put on a fancy production worthy of presenting to a group
of friends or a homeschool co-op. A reproducible "Playbill" is included
for posting as advertisement for the play being produced in your home. What