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March Shortcut: 5 March Readers Theater Ideas and Tips for Enjoying Readers Theater All Year

publication date: Feb 22, 2018
author/source: Carol Montgomery

Bug thumbnailMarch Shortcut:  5 March Readers Theater Ideas and Tips for Enjoying Readers Theater All Year

By Carol Montgomery © 2017


One spring I represented Readers Theater All Year at a curriculum conference with a vendor's table.  A young girl with dark braids walked by with her mother and became very interested in Readers Theater.  I briefly explained a Readers Theater script to her and we read the script for Aesop's Fable "The Beaver and the Lumberjack" together.  

She changed her voice for the part of the beaver and used her normal voice for the part of a narrator.  When we came to the end of the script her face lit up like radiant sunshine as she asked, "Can we do another one?"

The little girl was inspired.  And, her mother and I were inspired.  We all had fun while she was building life-long skills.  

March inspires many Readers Theater opportunities.  Here are five ideas to help inspire you:

  1.  Spring 

We often think of spring as the season of flowers, not fish.  But, baby fish hatch in the spring in waterways around the globe.  One of our secrets is a science series of three free Readers Theater scripts, "Students Save Shad!"  Based on a true science story from the book Let the River Run Silver Again by Sandy Burk and trustworthy online resources, this 3-part environmental script series shares how students helped save the American shad (fish). 

Hosted by student TV journalists, our free "Students Save Shad!" Readers Theater scripts integrate curriculum across subject lines in a memorable experience.  Complete with annotated curriculum links for easy lesson plans and further research, this inspiring story will motivate elementary and middle school students to take action and make a difference.  And, if you really like it, there's a separate cheer to go with the book.  You'll find Part I here;  but all four of the scripts (including the cheer) are found under Science in our Free Scripts Catalog:  "Kids Save Shad" (grades 1-3) and "Students Save Shad!" (grades 3-6+).  If March is too busy for you save this script for April's Earth Day.

2.  St. Patrick's Day 

St. Patrick's Day can become a mysterious holiday in a classroom.  Why not let our "St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Radio Show" help share some of the facts?  

"Top 'o the mornin' to ya!  I'm Shammy O'Leary with Right as Rain Radio..." 

That's the start of our humorous and informative script "St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Radio Show" with trustworthy, annotated curriculum links for easy lesson plans.  The small cast in this free Readers Theater script makes it flexible for 3-part choral reading, puppet plays, family fun, tutoring, small group classroom Readers Theater, and performances.  It's perfect not only for St. Patrick's Day, but also for a unit study on Ireland or immigration.  Don't miss the fun Kelly Green story!

We have three different readability levels in our script buffet table:  "St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Radio Show (Simplified)–grade 3.6, our original script–grade 4.4, and our middle school script–grade 6.8.  (Warning:  The reading levels may be higher, I think, because of 4 Irish sayings included and a couple of vocabulary words.)

3.  Biographies  of Inventors

Biographies of inventors could carry you to the end of the year.  We have a growing collection of inventors in our Script Buffet Club for most reading levels based on extensive research (i.e., Edison, Bell, Franklin).  You may find more scripts online. 

Also, remember your students would LOVE to write about an inventor or an invention.  In our Script Buffet for paying members you'll find "The Benjamin Franklin Idea and Invention Show" (middle school version) and "The Benjamin Franklin Idea and Invention Show (Simplified)" as a launching pad for your students to study Franklin's inventions with a fun twist.  (Shhh...there are commercials for some of Franklin's inventions.)

Even if you don't do Readers Theater on a particular inventor, you could encourage students to create Readers Theater commercials about inventions.  Maybe you could have e a quiz show format like our "President's Day Quiz Parade" in our Script Buffet?  For example, let the audience guess the answer to, "Who is the inventor behind the invention?"

4.  Humorous  

Jokes, riddles, and funny stories grab attention.  Laughter heals and motivates engagement.  I try to insert a little humor as much as possible in our Readers Theater scripts, but what's funny for one person may not be funny for another.  I do know that we have a free, funny script based on a true teacher story that I adapted for Readers Theater:  "Dog Jog Adventure" (two readability versions). 

These "Dog Jog Adventure" scripts are perfect for Choral Readers Theater with the boys reading the part of the brother and the girls reading the part of the sister.  Since the children in the script are probably middle school age or older, even middle schoolers should enjoy the hilarity–with easy vocabulary.

5.  Character Building and Virtues

Some teachers write that they are looking for character-building scripts or scripts that teach virtues.  So, I created a category for that, but I try to make sure most of our scripts promote good character through role models with positive attitudes or catchy cheers within a script.  Many of our Readers Theater scripts demonstrate positive character qualities in a non-preachy way.  Even our Aesop's Fable "The Beaver and the Lumberjack" can teach honesty.

Ben Franklin focused on virtues.  He really tried to better himself and make the world a better place.  We have him to thank for the ideas of the public library and volunteer fire department.  And, he never made any money off of his inventions of the Franklin Stove or the lightning rod.  He once wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac, "The noblest question in the world is what good may I do in it?"  That sounds like a great launch for character building to me.

I used Franklin's writings to create a script on his personal character-building ideas.  The middle school script is "Benjamin Franklin's Virtues–Project Perfection."  (That script also comes in a simplified version with a readability level of grade 5.0)  But, for your younger students we have "Ben Franklin–the Be Better Plan" (in one or two-part versions with a readability level of grades 2-3.)

Wow!  I think there are enough Readers Theater ideas to build leaders and creators with Readers Theater every week.  Weekly Readers Theater?  Why not?  You'll integrate reading, writing, listening, thinking, speaking, literature, history, and character-building in one delightful activity.  Time to march forward with Readers Theater, team!  Hip-hip-hooray!

Readers Theater All Year™ LLC builds leaders and creators for positive influence through an inexpensive, easy, flexible system.  Readers Theater All Year™ LLC curriculum services provides a caring community for using and creating Readers Theater scripts for families, classrooms, homeschools, camps, and drama clubs.

Praise from Teachers

...Keep doing what you are doing.  There are not enough quality scripts available for children and teens.  So many are inappropriate from a parent's perspective.  As a teacher I want to also build character and integrity while I teach a subject.  Why can't drama build up, inspire and be thought provoking?...Anyway, keep doing what you're doing...we need all the help we can get!
Jen H., Drama teacher

> ...I have been teaching for 35 years. RT has been part of my education journey for the majority of that time. Initially my experience with it was as a performance genre in the Drama Curriculum. Now I use it across the curriculum - a wonderful high motivation strategy in the language program - particularly reading - and so much more as you would know. I was drawn to your 'community' by the idea of leadership... I think what you're doing is wonderful..."
Graham B. Former primary teacher (now a Visual Art and Drama specialist)

Readers Theater All Year is the most comprehensive collection of Readers Theater scripts and resources I have found on the internet!...Thank you Carol for your leadership and vision and for making Readers Theater so accessible for teachers and parents.
Daniel Fiore, Elementary teacher/author What They Have Taught Me

I found the free readers theater online scripts, teaching tips, and curriculum teleseminars at Readers Theater All Year very inspirational to me. I used the Twelve Days of Christmas...Vacation script in my ESOL classes before Christmas break and my students all enjoyed it..
Lily T. Teacher (English for Speakers of Other Languages)

"> ..We did Squanto's Squash for the family on Thanksgiving and [my sons] participated and loved it. I am so excited about making this a major part of homeschooling. What a great way to learn!
Bethany P. Homeschooling Mom

> our script "The Earth Day Hen and Friends" I've used this! The kids love it. Thank you for sharing...It's just right for all levels in the class...Your free scripts are wonderful!...They learn so much from drama and reader's theatre...I see the shy ones gain confidence as they read. Fluency and prosody increases with reader's theatre...
Angela D., 3rd grade teacher

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