Dramatic Success

A Bad Case of Stripes Tales2go Audio Books

Standards and Objective

Reader’s Theater engages readers and reinforces fluency skills by providing an authentic reason to reread text. Far from a staged production, the drama in Reader’s Theater comes from children reading aloud with expression. As children become part of story they have enjoyed, rehearsal and performance of a script based on a children’s book or a chapter from a book also enhances their comprehension.

Materials

  • Markers
  • Individual copies of a Reader’s Theater script for each child

Tales2go Titles

  • A Bad Case of Stripes
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • Stellaluna
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • The Wimpy Kid Series

Activity

While Reader’s Theater scripts can be purchased or found online, many educators chose to develop their own scripts. Chose a title that offers roles for many readers and has interesting dialogue and clear narration. Humorous or adventure stories often work well. The book, like the script, should be one that children can read independently.

Before you pass out any scripts that you’ve created or acquired, have children listen to the story it is based on and discuss the expression and phrasing used by the reader. For example, in A Bad Case of Stripes, how does the reader express how Camilla is feeling or how other people are reacting to her?

Pass out scripts and do your first read through with everyone reading all the lines aloud together or break it down slightly by rotating through smaller groups reading specific passages in union. You may also want to give everyone a chance to individually perform each role before assigning parts. Since your script is an adaptation, don’t be afraid to make any script changes that better suit your readers. Once parts are assigned, plan to run through the script at least twice to be able to focus on both reading and on acting.

The performance can be held right in the classroom or library with readers at the front of the room. Props and costumes aren’t necessary, but can add a level of excitement for your performers and audience.

Extensions and Variations

Makeup for a production of A Bad Case of Stripes would be quite elaborate! Let children pictures themselves in Camilla’s shoes without the greasepaint. Using a digital camera, take a photo of each child. Print their pictures in black and white and have them use colored pencils to give themselves a bad case of stripes. Encourage children to write a paragraph on the back of their picture about what might cause them to catch this ailment.

As children become comfortable with Reader’s Theater, allow them to develop their own scripts. Reducing a story to its dramatic elements helps them better understand character, plot, setting, and story structure. Folk tales are a good bet for adaptations by beginning scriptwriters.

Resources

Reader’s Theater Scripts and Plays

The Best Class Scripts

About Fluency

Fluency is the ability to read, speak, or write easily, smoothly, and expressively. The titles on Tales2go provide models of fluent reading for students who are developing this skill as they become more proficient and independent readers themselves. As listeners are exposed to appropriate expression, emphasis, and pronunciation in the stories they hear, students develop a deeper understanding of how language works, which assists them in becoming fluent readers. Listening to Tales2go selections recorded by storytellers, authors, and professional narrators also helps students develop an emotional connection the story, in a way that listening to other “text to speech” versions cannot, which can motivates children to read more on their own.