Readers Theater

December 15, 2010

“Readers theatre—the oral expressive interpretation of a scripted piece of literature read in a dynamic, dramatic style—is an outstanding technique for encouraging vocabulary development, fluency and expression in all readers. Elementary educators across the country attest to the unbelievable joy that comes about when readers theatre is introduced into a library or classroom  experience. Students benefit from readers theatre because they can see, hear and practice using English and developing their listening, reading and speaking fluency. It provides participants with a legitimate reason for re-reading text in an enjoyable and engaging format.” quote from Pioneer Drama Service     (http://playsandmusicalsnewsletter.pioneerdrama.com/public/blog/189833) (see more info. under RESOURCES)

Find an extensive lesson plan for a Readers Theater at http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/caprush.html. This is a lesson centered around the English folk tale, “Cap o’Rushes.” In addition to performing this tale as a Readers Theater piece, students will be able to respond to writing prompts, practice compare/contrast, create a graphic response, identify basic drama literary terms, and participate in cooperative group work. This lesson was found while browsing through the FCIT website. In the “About FCIT” section, FCIT identifies itself as a member of the GEM Consortium (http://www.thegateway.org/), which is where this lesson is housed. It was found by typing in “Drama Theater” in the SEARCH FOR box on the home page. (see more info. under RESOURCES)

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Integrating Drama/Theater into the Classroom

December 1, 2010

Often when people think of “drama/theater” in school, they think of secondary or higher education – not necessarily K-5. Also, people may have the idea that “drama/theater” means ONLY performances on a stage. That could not be farther away from the reality of success from integrating “drama/theater” into K – 12 subject content areas. There are many  magnet schools  which have the “integration of the arts” as a special focus. Even more exciting is that more teachers in non-magnet schools are discovering the value of integrating drama/theater into their daily classroom teaching.

Each month in our blog, we will highlight a component of our FCIT Resources that can be used to integrate drama/theater into the content areas, give examples of drama/theater integration into regular classroom instruction and learning, or review a good resource regarding drama/theater in education. So check back frequently.

Meanwhile, please take a few minutes to check out the links under “Conferences,” “Events,” “Organizations,” and “Online Resources.”  Act quickly to reserve your spot in one of the *ARTS INTEGRATION SYMPOSIA SERIES”  (see CONFERENCES). You can earn inservice credit and the registration price can’t be beat: $5!

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February is Black History Month

January 26, 2011

February has several “celebrations” on the calendar, one of which is Black History Month. Dramatic readings, short plays, puppet shows, reader’s theater, student podcasts,  student interviews with “historical figures,” and narrated PowerPoint presentations are Drama/theater-type activities that can bring to life the history in Black History Month.

FCIT can be helpful to you and your students in the development of those projects. For example, by doing a clipart search on FCIT, one can find images of Black Americans in the days of slavery, living conditions, and fighting in the Civil War, as well as many other topics. At Lit2Go, a large collection of African-American literature is available.

Perhaps your class is studying the Civil War. Do they know the roll that the African-American infantry played in the Civil War? Check out the “Siege of Petersburg” images at http://fcit.usf.edu/search/index.php?searchWords=African+American+History&mySubmit=Search.

While you are on that search page, check out Frederick Douglass, an African-American abolitionist who was the first African American leader of national stature in the United States.

Lit2Go offers a large collection of African-American Literature – poems, stories, and written accounts of the lives of real African-Americans. Find this treasure at http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/index.htm. Also find some of the Lit2Go African-American Literature resources on iTunes U > University of South Florida.    Enjoy!

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