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Lesson Plan

Readers Theatre

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Readers Theatre

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Four 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Laurie A. Henry, Ph.D.

Laurie A. Henry, Ph.D.

Lexington, Kentucky


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Chapter books or short stories that contain large sections of dialogue

  • Highlighters (various colors)

  • Music stands to hold scripts (optional)

  • Overhead projector, transparencies, and markers

  • Stools for Readers Theatre performers (optional)

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Readers Theatre Rubric

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1. Choose a variety of above-level, on-level, and below-level scripts from Reader's Theater Scripts and Plays. It is best to select stories that are well known to students for the first session. Make multiple copies of the selected scripts (enough for each member of the cast and a copy for you).

2. Review Aaron Shepard's RT Page and his RT Tips: A Guide to Readers Theatre in particular to develop a good understanding of using Readers Theatre in the classroom. You may also want to photocopy selected pages from these sites and distribute them to students as assigned reading the night before the first session.

3. Assign groups to work with selected scripts, keeping in mind the students that should work with above-level, on-level, and below-level scripts.

4. For Session 2, select one scripting sheet from Aaron Shepard's RT Scripting Sheets for each group. Make enough copies so that each member of the group has a copy of the scripting sheet. Choose one scripting sheet for modeling and create a transparency.

5. For Session 3,  select specific chapters or stories that contain large sections of dialogue from your collection of chapter books or short stories. Assign a different text selection for each group, keeping in mind appropriate levels. Make photocopies of the text selections for each member of the assigned group.

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