Many forms of Process Drama, including Writing in a Role, Readers Theater, Mantle of the Expert and Role Playing, can easily be extended by recording the end product. We know that process drama works because it helps develop imagination, builds voice in writers, creates authentic experiences, and helps students see the world from multiple perspectives. Podcasting the results adds an authentic audience and a real world connection by allowing collaboration and communication with a much broader audience.
Lets take a more in-depth look at Readers Theater. In this strategy, students perform from an existing script or adapt a script from a book that they have read. (A collection of Readers Theater scripts is available for download at Teaching Heart .) Each student performs the role of a different character from the story. When adapting a script, adjustments are made so that all action can be conveyed through the audio performance. Often a narrator is added. See the References section below for more information on adapting scripts.
As an introductory activity, you may want to listen to some classic radio drama broadcasts from the 1930s and 1940s. Work with students on the quality of their vocal performance, capturing the emotion of the characters, and adding sounds that convey the setting. Once recorded and podcast, these audio productions can be shared and celebrated with friends and family.
- Teaching Heart - A collection of Readers Theater scripts is available for download.
- Schneider, J. , & Jackson, S. (2000). Process drama: A special space and place for writing. The Reading Teacher, 54(1), 38-51.
- Temple, C., Martinez, M., Yokota, J., Naylor, A. (2002). Childrens books in childrens hands. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
- Tomkins, G. (1998). Fifty literacy strategies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
- Tomkins, G. (2000). Teaching writing: Balancing process and product. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice-Hall, Inc.