From Children's Literature to Readers Theatre

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Foreword by Katherine Paterson

How do you get children excited and engaged with books?  Get them onstage! Readers Theatre is a staged reading of literature with participants reading from scripts, conveying the book's story using voice and facial expressions. In this book Poe introduces and shows how to implement the concept, demonstrating how Readers Theatre offers educators an innovative opportunity to acquaint children and young people with quality literature, develop their public-speaking skills, and teach teamwork in an activity that is as entertaining as it is educational. A veteran of many Readers Theatre programs, she explains how to create successful programs, providing

  • Detailed instruction for ways librarians can help children and teens develop and perform their own Readers Theatre scripts
  • An annotated bibliography of 100 books suggested for their Readers Theatre potential, with excerpts from scripts and the passages from which they were adapted
  • Programming ideas that can be adapted for use across different age levels, from preschool to YA
  • Comments from prominent children's authors who have shared Readers Theatre experiences with Poe

Combining the theoretical and the practical, Poe's book helps children and YA librarians assist young people in developing a lifelong love of literature.

  Foreword, by Katherine Paterson Acknowledgments  Part I: About Readers Theatre 1 Introducing Readers Theatre

Definition and Background of Readers Theatre 

 2 Collaboration Is Key

The Value of the Collaborative Reader-Centered Model 

 3 Exploring a Wealth of Possibilities

Ways to Use Readers Theatre in Library Settings 

 4 Setting the Stage

Steps for Creating Readers Theatre Experiences 

 5 Sharing the Pleasure of the Words

Tips for Readers Theatre Performances 

 Part II: A How-To Guide 6 Adapting Literature to Script

Examples and Analysis of Portions of Readers Theatre Scripts

 7 Pre-Performance Preparation

Sample Timelines for Planning a Readers Theatre Experience 

 8 Books to Consider

One Hundred Titles That Would Make Good Readers Theatre 

 Appendix A: Sample Program Appendix B: Sample Readers Theatre Classroom Assignment  Credits Index

Elizabeth A. Poe

Elizabeth A. Poe is a retired professor of children's and young adult literature who holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has also taught at the preschool, middle school, and high school levels. For the past ten years, she has organized Readers Theatre performances with authors at professional conferences across the US and around the world. She is a member of the 2014 Newbery Committee and has served on the Caldecott Committee and chaired the USBBY Outstanding International Books Committee, the Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, and the IRA Young Adult Choices project. She served as president of ALAN, editor of the Journal of Children's Literature and The SIGNAL Journal, and book review column editor for The ALAN Review. A frequent speaker at professional conferences, she has published numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her other books are Focus on Sexuality: A Reference Handbook, Focus on Relationships: A Reference Handbook, and Presenting Barbara Wersba.

"Poe employs a completely reader-centric approach. Not only do students read and direct the scripts, but they also choose the stories and write them. As one can deduce, this provides extra reading time to find that perfect story, and even more time to collaborate in writing and presenting an entertaining performance ... An effective tool for developing lifelong readers."
--School Library Journal

"A valuable resource for any practitioner looking to start a Readers Theatre project, while the kid-centered approach is likely be refreshing for librarians who too often find themselves writer, director, prop hand, and one-person clean-up crew."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books