Tag Archives: Reader’s Theater

Scapegoat: The Story of a Goat Named Oat and a Chewed-up Coat by Dean hale

Schema: blaming something on someone else

Definition of Scapegoat

In rhyming text the author shares the story about very mischevious Jimmy and his goat, P. Petunia Oat.

Sequencing: What did Jimmy blame on Petunia in order: eating his coat, throwing away the TV remote, blowing his nose in the tote, breaking the boat, shaving the goat’s thoat

Reader’s Theater: This book would be a great reader’s theater with a part for the goat and a part for Jimmy.

Author reads his book in Spanish on You Tube.

Characterize Jimmy and Petunia based on the text and illustrations.

Drawing Conclusions: What conclusion do you come to about what happened to Jimmy’s coat?

Point of View: The author’s POV is third person.




Doodleday by Ross Collins

Schema: drawing

Text-to-Text Connections: obeying parents

Text-to-Text Connection: Harold and the Purple Crayon

Large font and colorful, but simple drawings make this a super read aloud. The plot sequence lends itself to teaching predicting. A young boy is about to draw when his mother says that no one draws on this particular day, Doodleday. He disobeys and begins to draw a fly which flies off of the page and is huge! He then draws a spider to eat the fly, then a bird to eat the spider. The text-to-text connection with There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly will be noticed.  Young listeners will love the story and art.

Cause and Effect: Because he draws a fly, the effect is that he must draw a spider to eat the fly…

Because he disobeys his mother, the effect is the disasters that occur.

Predicting: What will he draw next? Do you think he will draw on Doodleday next year?

Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash

Schema: horses, saddles, birthdays; Roy does not have “horse” in his schema so he has to ask other to share with him.

Characterization:  Characterize the traits of a horse as each animal character shares a bit about horses.  He is told that it is a living thing, an animal, has legs, is friendly, doesn’t change color, does not lay eggs, is clean, is very fast, eats grass,  and does not have stripes.  Before reading or showing them the book have students draw a picture of what they think the animal would look like.

Personification: The wagon is personified.

Reader’s Theater: This would be a great book to use for reader’s theater with each student being one of the animals.

Drawing Conclusions: What is wrong with the conclusion that Roy came to about the horse when he finally found it?  Review the instructions that came with the saddle.

Summarizing: With the repetitive action in the story, this is a good one to briefly summarize.  Show students the summary in the CIP.

The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward

Schema: trees

Personification: The point of view is from the tree.  The tree’s voice is heard through a rhyming text about a tree from its roots to its branches.

Author’s Purpose: The simple text provides the reader with the basic information about how a tree grows, what lives in it, and what lives below it.  The youngest reader will know more about trees after reading this book.

Reader’s Theater: The rhyming couplets read by young children dressed as tree inhabitants would be a wonderful production!

Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements

Schema: school stories, funny spells from old movies such as Freaky Friday

Word Choice: This is a great book to share with students who are practicing creative writing skills.  The word choice in this book sets the tone and adds to the humor.  Check out this great reader’s theater script.  This book is an experience that must be read aloud.

Cause and Effect: Because a weird spell of some kind is cast over Lulu, the effect is that everyone starts talking in doubles.

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Schema: teachers, fifth grade

Text-to-Self Connections: many students will identify with one of the seven characters

Text-to-Text Connections: Jessica refers to many great books that she is reading throughout the book. Students will relate to some of the titles. Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars is about a girl and her mentally handicapped brother, Charlie.  In this book, the students form a bond with a special needs class in their school.

The book is written from the point of view of seven different students in Mr. Terupt’s fifth grade class. Mr. Terupt is a first year teacher.  Use the characterization chart for each character to analyze their traits as you read through the book.  I think it would be fun to purchase seven additional copies of the book and let seven students take on the role of each of the seven characters in a reader’s theater. The seven student types are ones that students will connect with such as:

Peter who begins the story and is one who likes to play around;

Jessica, a new girl who is new to the area, whose parents are divorcing because the father found another woman;

Luke, a very intelligent boy, who consistently tries to achieve;

Alexia, a mean and devious girl;

Jeffrey, a quiet boy with a secret about how he had a younger brother who died, even though his parents had him to use his stem cells, and now deals with the depression of his mother;

Danielle, an over weight girl with parents who are extremely conservative;

Anna, a very shy girl whose mother is very young and had her while still a teenager.

Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of a different student.

The book is sequenced by months beginning with September and going through the school year.

Cause and Effect: One of the kids actions has a serious effect on Mr. Terupt, and the second half of the book is devoted to how each student deals with this effect.

Drawing Conclusions: Many opportunities can be found to discuss what conclusions you draw about each of the kids before you find out why they are the way they are from what you learn about their home lives as you read through the book.  The text makes you think about being negative towards kids because of their behaviors and comments before you understand why they are behaving this way.  Students will relate to these circumstances for many perspectives.

Voice: Include “voice” in the characterization of each character.  Their voice reveals their emotions.  Read some of the text aloud and have students tell you whose voice they hear.  Have them write something that sounds like the voice of each character.

Math: Mr. Terupt designs a math game to help students practice addition that Luke uses throughout the story.

Pirates by David L. Harrison

Schema: Pirates or sailors on ships, missing a hand or a foot, we can infer that they take risks if they are missing a limb, they wear funny hats, have parrots for pets, brave, hunt buried treasure, modern pirates steal and harm

Text to self connections: Pirates of the Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow, Peter Pan’s Captain Hook

Compare and Contrast the pirates in the book with the pirates in the movies using a T-chart.  Read the “Here’s How it Was” information at the end of the book.

The pirates in the book lead many boring days at sea, eat hard bread, receiving no pay: “Another Day at Sea”

Eating hard bread and soup that make them feel sick: “Table Talk”

Being whipped for fighting: “Cat-O’-Nine-Tails” vs. in the movies the fighting is viewed as fun

Point of View: “Through the Glass” from the POV of an official government ship captain

“Coming for Your Gold” from the POV of the Pirate

“Fog Attack” from the pirates POV

“What’ll the King Say, Cap’n? from the pirates POV

“Trouble” from one of the pirates POV about getting his share of the loot, the “plunder”

“Marooned” from the POV of a pirate that has been left on a deserted island

“On the Run” from the pirates POV

Characterization: “Blackbeard” characterized the pirate, Blackbeard.

Author’s purpose: to make a mental images and feel emotions of what it was like for real pirates

Characterization: Use the Cluster Word Web to list the traits of the pirates in the poems as you read.

Reader’s Theater of “The Pirate’s Code” could be performed after reading the book.

Cause and Effect: “Ship Rules” talks about the effect of breaking the rules.  Because you have joined the Pirates, the effect is that you will regret it.

Because you steal, the effect is being beaten with a whip.

Because you commit mutiny, the effect is being shot and thrown to sharks alive.

Because you lose an arm in battle, the effect is you will be paid well.

Drawing Conclusions: What evidence or clues can you find in the poems that supports the conclusion that people who chose to become pirates made a bad choice in careers? they were beaten, not fed well, lost body parts in fights, died young

“Captured” and “Farewell” support the conclusion as the pirates are realizing their lives are over.

The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

Schema: March winds, the old saying that “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,”  chasing something that has blown away

Cause and Effect: Because it was so windy, the effect is that everything is blowing away

Predicting: Ask the students to predict what is going to blow away next.  There are clues on each preceding page of what will be next.

Sequencing: Use a sequence graphic to sequence the order of the items being blown by the wind.

Spring begins in late March so this is a good one to use for a seasonal book.

Text-to-Text Connections with The Windy Day by G. Brian Karas

Willa and the Wind by Janice M. Del Negro

Have I Got A Book For You! by Melanie Watt

Schema: people who sell things with commercials on TV; a fox is the character telling the story so what is our usual stereotype of a fox in a story-usually a bad guy?  What preconceived ideas do we have about salesmen or telephone marketers who call and try to get us to buy something?

Persuasion: This book is a fine example of a persuasive writing.  Use a graphic organizer to graph the persuasion terms.

Al has references; how do the references help him?  They give him credibility.

Text-to-text Connections: Sleeping Beauty is mentioned in the story.

Cause and Effect: Because the fox compliments his audiences outfit and says he likes you, he hopes the effect will be that you____.

Text-to-Self Connections:

Commercials that are the infomercial where they throw in some bonus items if you call right now and order their product.

Building a fort, using duct tape

Seeing the sign in a store that says, “you break it, you buy it”

Reader’s Theater: This book would lend itself well to a reader’s theater performance;
Students could  could write similar skits about some other product too.

Sequence the different types of tactics the fox uses to sell the book such as introducing it, complimenting the buyer, sharing the uses, offering bonus items.

Synthesis: The big idea the author is sharing is trying to persuade someone to buy something.     Students could  could write similar skits about some other product too.

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist and The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon

Schema: sharks, The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf

Compare and Contrast: Use a graphic organizer such as the Venn diagram, to compare and contrast with The Three Little Pigs.

Compare and contrast with The Three Little Rigs.

Reader’s Theater: This story would work well with the reader’s theater format.  Students could ad lib after reading the story or write their own script.

Inference: Because the shark’s teeth fell out, we can infer that he is eating seaweed because he can’t eat anything hard anymore.

Text-to-Text Connection: The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon