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Friday, March 9, 2012

The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane and the Power of Readers Theater

We finished our Edward Tulane book this morning. It was bittersweet - we got the happy and hopeful ending we were hoping for, but we hated to see it end. This is a lovely book. Each child had their very own copy, and - if they wanted to - they could follow along with the CD. As I've told some of you, I'm glad I decided to share this story via an audiobook - I don't think I would have been able to read it without "blubbing"! There were many sad parts, including a death. However, the overall tone to the book is so sweet and loving, that I felt it perfectly appropriate (with my support) to share with even these very young souls.

Yesterday, we really concentrated on Chapter 22. This is a difficult chapter for children to understand, as it is a little like a dream sequence. All the characters we've met in previous chapters are there, and it is unclear how they all seem to know each other. In any event, we read this several times in the form of a Readers Theater script. There were 6 narrators, as well as the character parts. These kids love drama - to them, there is a fine line between play and dramatic work (just visit at recess some day, you'll see children inventing characters, scenes, and stories). Readers Theater is one form of drama, and it is very effective in building reading fluency. It boosts listening skills, speaking skills, enhances confidence, and transforms reluctant readers into book lovers. The books come alive. We presented our Readers Theater piece to our Kindergarten buddies.

We will certainly have more Readers Theater activities in the future. And now, to find our next wonderful read-aloud ...

1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

You've got me interested enough to check out the book myself. It thrills me to read about children loving to read and loving drama and theater. They will surely succeed easier than those who hate reading. Can't wait to read more about your wonderful class.