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Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Reading Idol! Bringing Readers Theatre Center Stage in Your Classroom

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer M. Nelson

Jennifer M. Nelson

McDonough, Georgia


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Copy of the book Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
  • Highlighters
  • Page protectors (optional)
  • Microphone (optional)

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Trading Card Creator

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Trading Card Creator

This tool provides a fun and useful way to explore a variety of topics such as a character in a book, a person or place from history, or even a physical object. An excellent tool to for summarizing or as a prewriting exercise for original stories.


Comic Creator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Comic Creator

The Comic Creator invites students to compose their own comic strips for a variety of contexts (prewriting, pre- and postreading activities, response to literature, and so on).


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  1. Adapt the script for Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch to fit your classroom groups. There are some parts that can be split or combined to fit any number of combinations. Make enough copies for the class. You can number the copies at the top for the group configurations. For example, if you have four groups, each copy of the script has the number 1, 2, 3, or 4 at the top to tell students which group they belong to. Make sure to highlight the character name. You may want to assign particular roles to particular students.

  2. Read the book Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch to be prepared to give a great modeled read-aloud. Change voices for different characters if you can so that you can show students how a Readers Theatre performance would sound.

  3. Take some time to review the Readers Theatre links that are included with the lesson. There are many, many places to find tips and hints for making Readers Theatre great. Be prepared to explain the reason behind Readers Theatre to the class.

  4. Review the Vote for Your Reading Idol! rubric and prepare a larger copy on chart paper so that you can discuss it with the class. Make sure to plan time to present it to the students before beginning the lesson. Be clear about what they are expected to do when they perform and when they vote on each otherís performances.

  5. Prepare file folders for the scripts or staple the pages so that the scripts are easy to handle during the performance.

  6. Bookmark and review the Character Trading Cards and Comic Creator interactive tools. If necessary, reserve time in the computer lab for students to work on the interactives.

  7. Copy one Readerís Theater Student Self-Assessment for every student and the Vote for Your Reading Idol! rubric so that there are four to each page. Each student will get one page of rubrics. The front side is where they will evaluate themselves, and the back is where they will evaluate the other groupsí performances.

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