Reader's Theater ECE
Reader's Theater ECE
Teaching Resources
Categories Educator Resources 

Readers’ Theatre is a strategy that adapts written text into simple dramatic play.
• Students listen and practice modeling a script to tell a story in an entertaining form.
• Requires no costumes, no sets and minimal props.

Purpose and Benefits:
• Provides repeated reading and vocabulary development
• Builds self-confidence, concentration and motivation
• Develops oral language (speaking and listening)
• Creates thoughtful readers

Readers’ Theatre in ECE Classroom
• The teacher acts as the narrator and reads the script.
• Predictable (repeated) text is most commonly used.
• Body movements (clapping, stamping) and rhythm instruments can be used to indicate actions and sounds.
• Reader’s theatre preparation involves enhancement in oral language and emergent literacy skills.

Read the picture book and discuss the pictures (make sure all students can view the book).
o Use appropriate expression while reading aloud.
Reread the story. During the reading stop at places where students can “read” through chanting, vocalizing, or speak the dialogue of the characters.
Write a script from the book on the white board. Students can be part of the script writing. Review vocabulary and punctuation.
o The students can “read” their words when practicing the readers’ theatre.
o Dialogue can be written on sentence strips.
Through stages of repetition and practice students learn their reading parts by rote.
o Use echo reading with the entire class the first time you read the script and have students mimic your quality of expression.
o The whole class can “ read” the dialogue of each character together then-
o Break class up in small groups to read the script.
o Individual students should now be ready to play their character. To assist student to know when it is their turn to ‘read’ you can colour code characters, place symbols or stickers by each character’s name.
Discuss what the performer must do:
o Speak slowly and clearly.
o Speak loud enough.
o Listen carefully and wait your turn.

For more information on Reader’s Theatre
Doyle, B. G., & Bramwell, W. (2006). Promoting emergent literacy and social- emotional learning through dialogic reading. The Reading Teacher, 59(6), 554–564.