Readers Theater: Performing Our Scripts | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:M1:U2:L9

Readers Theater: Performing Our Scripts

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RF.2.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • SL.2.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SL.2.1a: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • SL.2.1b: Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
  • SL.2.1c: Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can apply our criteria as I perform a Readers Theater script with my group. (SL.2.1, SL.2.1a, SL.2.1b, SL.2.1c)
  • I can read a Readers Theater script with fluency and expression. (RF.2.4)
  • I can reflect on my learning from this unit.

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time C, circulate to observe students' use of the performance criteria. (RF.2.4)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Actor: Collaboration Scenarios (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Readers Theater: Reviewing Criteria (15 minutes)

B. Readers Theater: Performances (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. End of Unit Reflection: Assessing Our Learning (15 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This is the final lesson in Unit 2, and it culminates in students' Readers Theater performances. The performances help students revisit the learning they have done about communities around the world that find solutions to their problems to get students to school.
  • In the Closing, students participate in the routine of reflecting on and assessing their learning at the end of a unit. While self-assessing, students focus on the content of this unit to see if their ideas about school have developed or changed.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This is the second of two lessons focused on Readers Theater. Students use their learning from the close read-alouds done in Lesson 2-7 to read their scripts.
  • Students revisit the unit guiding questions to reflect on their learning from Units 1-2. This reflection helps students connect their current thinking to their thinking from Unit 1 and develop new ideas to move forward.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Based on the group work in Lesson 8, consider which students need more help with decoding or fluency. If possible, find a time to help them rehearse before Lesson 9, so that they can be prepared with strategies and practice.
  • Reflecting on previous thinking might be a stretch for some students without more context. To ensure that all students are able to make connections to previous learning, display the books or assignments from Unit 1 to help jog their memories.
  • As noted in Lesson 8, based on the needs of your class and your available time, consider extending this lesson so students have more time to practice their scripts before performing.

Down the road:

  • Throughout Unit 2, students learned about the problems three communities faced and the solutions they created to address those problems. In Unit 3, students will revisit those three schools to compare and contrast each school with their own. Continue to reinforce that these are three specific schools and are not representative of all schools in that country.
  • In Units 1-2, students have written reading responses and informative paragraphs. Unit 3 will introduce another type of informational writing, comparing and contrasting, while reinforcing the structure in the standard W.2.2.
  • In Units 1 and 2, the classroom discussion norms have been scaffolded to allow for supported practice. In Unit 3, students will be assessed on their mastery of the speaking and listening standards taught in previous units (SL.2.1, SL.2.1a, SL.2.1b, SL.2.1c).

In Advance

  • Consider having students place their scripts on their table or in an easily accessible place before beginning the lesson to ensure an easier transition to Work Time A.
  • Consider creating a visual for audience member expectations in Work Time C.
  • Review the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Post: Learning targets, Readers Theater Final Criteria anchor chart, Unit 2 Guiding Questions anchor chart, and Module Guiding Question anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

Consider using an interactive whiteboard or document camera to display lesson materials.

  • Work Time A: If you recorded students rehearsing in Lesson 8, play selected scenes for the whole group to review the criteria, and to whole group critique.
  • Work Time B: Video record students' performance to watch with students to evaluate strengths and areas for improvement. Post it on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to watch at home with families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Closing and Assessment A: If you recorded students performances in Work Time B, play selected scenes of each performance to help students self-assess.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 2.I.A.1, 2.I.A.3, and 2.I.B.5

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to practice reading and speaking fluently. Acting out chapters from Off to Class will provide students with concrete avenues for comprehending academic content while strengthening English language development through peer interaction.
  • ELLs may feel self-conscious performing for the class, as some may still struggle with reading and speaking in the language itself. Support students by empowering them to ask their peers for help when they do not understand or need help reading. Enthusiastically encourage students to participate, but refrain from pressuring them.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Encourage students to use Conversation Cues with other students to extend and deepen conversations, think with others, and enhance language development.

For heavier support:

  • Allow more than one student to share the same role and "tag team" when it gets tricky or one is in need of support.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Before the Readers Theater performance, students review guidelines for audience participation. Consider providing a visual reference point to cue students to these guidelines throughout the performances. Write the guidelines on a whiteboard or chart paper and include small symbols to signify each guideline.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): As students perform Readers Theater in front of the group, they may need assistance onstage. Provide graduated levels of support by assigning a strong reader to stand backstage with the script. Prompt students to call, "line," when they need help with a tricky word, and the backup reader will respond by finishing the line. The student onstage can repeat the line or continue to his or her next part.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): During the Closing, students reflect on how communities solve problems so children can go to school. Students may increase engagement if you connect the discussion to their own experiences. Optimize relevance by inviting students to reflect on what could be done to make going to school easier in your own community.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

New:

  • reflect (L)

Review:

  • criteria, fluency, expression

Materials

  • Performance Criteria anchor chart (begun in Lesson 8)
  • Readers Theater scripts (from Lesson 8; one per student)
  • Performance Criteria for Small Groups (from Lesson 8; one to display and one per group)
  • Unit 2 Guiding Questions anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Module Guiding Question anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Actor: Collaboration Scenarios (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Invite students to whisper a response into their hands and ask:

"What did we practice yesterday using our scripts?" (Readers Theater)

  • With excitement, tell students that today they get to perform their scripts for each other.
  • Say: "Before you begin to rehearse again, I wanted to get your help on two tricky situations that might come up while you practice. They both involve needing to collaborate."
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

"Pretend you are in your group and something goes wrong. One of your teammates is not paying attention and always misses his or her turn. What could you do to help your teammate?" (Responses will vary, but may include: suggesting the teammate stand next to the person he or she follows.)

  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner:

"Pretend you are in your group and something goes wrong. You are making faces at teammates while they read their parts. What could your teammates do to help you?" (Responses will vary, but may include: kindly ask you to stop making faces.)

  • Select volunteers to share out.
  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by saying more:

"Can you say more about that?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students that as they rehearse today, they may come across some tricky situations when collaborating. They have done a good job thinking of ways to solve problems with collaboration, but if they need help, they should ask.
  • For ELLs: Introduce language that will empower students to seek help and collaboration if they feel stuck. Prompt them to practice using the language. (Example: "I am in a tricky situation. Can somebody collaborate with me?") (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Readers Theater: Reviewing Criteria (15 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the learning targets and read the first one aloud:

"I can apply our criteria as I perform a Readers Theater script with my group."

  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

"What are criteria?" (something people use as a guide or a model; students may list some criteria created)

  • Tell students that today they will use their criteria to help them perform their skit for the class.
  • Direct students' attention to the Performance Criteria anchor chart. Invite students to follow along, reading silently in their heads as you read it aloud.
  • Direct students' attention to the learning targets and read the second one aloud:

"I can read a Readers Theater script with fluency and expression."

  • Remind students that fluency (reading smoothly) and expression (emotion) are part of the criteria for performing.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

"Which of our criteria will you focus on today?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students they will have a couple of minutes to practice before it is time to perform.
  • Invite students to retrieve their Readers Theater scripts and move to their group's assigned area from the previous lesson.
  • Invite students to begin rehearsing with their group. Distribute one Performance Criteria for Small Groups handout to each group.
  • Circulate to support students as they rehearse and navigate collaborating as a group.
  • Give students a 1-minute warning before it is time to wrap up their rehearsals.
  • Refocus whole group.
  • For ELLs: Place students in small groups according to language proficiency. Ensure that beginning and intermediate ELLs are grouped with advanced and proficient students. If possible, consider grouping students who speak the same home language together. If students are able, invite them to interpret parts of the script in their home languages. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Some students may be nervous or need additional support with the speaking skills necessary for reading their parts. Allow students to observe and repeat interactions according to their comfort and ability level. Consider allowing two students to share the same part to scaffold participation. Encourage students to participate even if they are uncomfortable, but refrain from pressuring them. (MMAE)

B. Readers Theater: Performances (20 minutes)

  • With scripts in hand, invite students to sit in a half-circle in the whole group area.
  • Offer students a place to hold their scripts while they are in the audience (lap, under their bottom, behind them).
  • Announce that it is time for the Readers Theater to begin!
  • Say:

"Before we begin, there is one more thing you'll need to remember, and that is to be a good audience member. To be a good audience member, you just remember where to keep things":

"Keep your eyes on the performers"

"Keep your hands to yourself"

"Keep your voice in your head"

  • Invite students to do each motion while repeating after you.
  • Invite the first group up to the front with their scripts.
  • When both the audience and performers are ready, invite the performers to begin.
  • After they finish, encourage students to give the group a round of applause.
  • Ask for a volunteer from the performing group:

"Which criteria do you think your group worked really hard to meet?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Repeat the process with each remaining group.
  • Give members of the audience specific positive feedback in between skits for actively listening to the performers. (Example: "I noticed Reggie keeping his eyes on the performers the whole time.")
  • After all three groups have performed, celebrate with a cheer or another round of applause.
  • For ELLs: Assign a strong reader to act as an "understudy" for students who need assistance onstage. Prompt students to call, "line," when they need help with a tricky word, and the backup reader will respond by finishing their line. The student onstage can repeat the line or continue to his or her next part. (MMAE)
  • When discussing guidelines for audience expectations, provide alternatives to auditory information by displaying visual cues. Write the guidelines on a whiteboard or chart paper and include small symbols to signify each guideline. (MMR)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. End of Unit Reflection: Assessing Our Learning (15 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Direct students' attention to the learning targets and read the third one aloud:

"I can reflect on my learning from this unit."

  • Tell students that reflect means to think about something deeply and carefully. Ask:

"Why would it be important for us to think back on the learning we have done in this unit? (so we can remember the work we have done)

  • Direct students' attention to the Unit 2 Guiding Questions anchor chart and read the questions aloud:
    • "Why is it hard for some children to go to school in their communities?"
    • "How do communities solve these problems so their children can go to school?"
  • Tell students they have spent some good time learning and thinking about the unit questions.
  • Invite students to silently reflect on this question:
    • "Why is it hard for children to go to school in some communities?"
  • After their think time, invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner.
  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by giving an example:

"Can you give an example?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Repeat this process with the question:
    • "How do communities solve these problems so their children can go to school?"
  • Give students specific positive feedback on the hard work they have done learning more about schools. (Example: "You have used many books to help you learn more about school and why schools are important. I would like to see if you have any new or different ideas.")
  • Direct students' attention to the Module Guiding Question anchor chart.
  • Tell students you are going to read the anchor chart aloud and as you do, they should raise their hand if they think of a new or different idea based on their learning from this unit.
  • Encourage students to think of their favorite part of their own school and whether that is the same or different from the schools they have read about.
  • Tell students that they will get to start thinking more about their own school in the upcoming lessons!
  • For ELLs: As students think and reflect about what they learned throughout the unit, allow them to page through the writing they have completed. Display the sections from Off to Class. These reminders will give them concrete stimuli with which to consider their learning throughout the unit. (MME)
  • As students reflect on how communities solve problems so children can go to school, optimize relevance by connecting the discussion to students' own experiences. Ask:

"Reading about schools in other places makes me think about how we can help students go to school in our community. What are some ways we might make it easier for students to go to school here?") (MME)

There are no new supporting materials for this lesson.

Assessment

Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

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