Using Readers Theater to Engage All Learners
This paper investigates the process and benefits of Readers Theater in order to determine its usefulness within a variety of instructional settings. It discusses ways that Readers Theater has been implemented in real classrooms and uses the findings of teachers and educational researchers to determine the benefits it offers with regard to student learning, particularly in the areas of student reading performance and content area learning. The review begins with an examination of Readers Theater in order to provide a description of this strategy and the basic elements that are essential to its implementation. Next, it discusses the benefits of using Readers Theater as discovered from research and the classroom experience of teachers. This section will also include a discussion of the connection between Readers Theater and fluency because improved fluency is a widely noted benefit of Readers Theater. From there, it investigates who actually benefits from Readers Theater, focusing in on which groups of students have been positively affected with the use of this instructional strategy. Finally, it utilizes teaching experiences of educators to delve into the ways that Readers Theater can be adapted for greater use in all areas of the school day. This portion of the paper extends Readers Theater beyond reading instruction and demonstrates why Readers Theater is an appropriate and useful instructional tool in writing and the content areas.