Ms. Patti’s Class Serves Up a Tasty Readers Theater
Ms. Patti’s second grade class at the Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School practiced and prepared and proudly presented a Readers Theater production on December 22, 2016. The students did a wonderful job presenting Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett and The Borrowed Hannukah Latkes by Linda Glaser.
"I'm the Gingerbread Baby,
Clever as can be.
You can look everywhere,
But you'll never see me!"
When the gingerbread Baby hears about the Christmas Festival, he wants to rush down to the village with his band. The only trouble is, he doesn't have a band! Quickly, Matti figures out a way to make gingerbread instruments, and off they go.
The band's music is a hit until a little girl smells the delicious aroma of gingerbread wafting down from the bandstand. The Gingerbread Baby knows it's time to run away, but he keeps on singing while the gingerbread instruments dash off to find Matti, who is waiting to disguise them.
The Gingerbread Baby back flips into the snow and races for the giant Christmas tree, with hungry children and excited animals chasing after him.
When they get to the tree, there is no sign of the Gingerbread Baby. Where can he be?
The Borrowed Hannukah. Soon all the relatives will be at Rachel's house for the last night of Hanukkah.
Rachel's elderly next door neighbor Mrs. Greenberg has also been invited. However, although she's all alone, she has declined the invitation.
She doesn't want to be a bother to Mama. But when Mama needs more potatoes, and then more eggs to make the latkes, Rachel dashes over to Mrs. Greenberg's house to borrow them. Meanwhile, she tries to convince Mrs. Greenberg to join them for Hanukkah. Each time, Mrs. Greenberg gladly gives Rachel the needed ingredient saying, "Don't borrow. I don't want it back. Just eat it in good health."
But she still won't join the celebration. As Mama says, "She has a heart of gold but she's as stubborn as an ox." Finally, when Rachel needs to borrow some chairs, she finds a clever and delightful way to include Mrs. Greenberg in the festivities.
Nancy Cote's fresh, and lively illustrations add charm and joie de vivre while capturing the warmth, humor, and love between Rachel and Mrs. Greenberg.
Parents, family and friends were very proud of the students and enjoyed the Readers Theater performance. Everyone had a wonderful time.
On January 5, Ms. Patti’s class hosted seniors from The Life Enrichment Center. The students performed their Readers' Theater and sang songs with the help of Ms. Meagan Finnerty on the keyboard. The children and seniors worked together on a craft and shared some hot chocolate and cookies.
Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School Principal, Ms. Tami McElwee said, "Our students here at Theodore Roosevelt become excited and enthusiastic about reading when they are presented with the opportunity to participate in Readers Theater. Through this cooperative and engaging process, students are highly engaged and motivated. Because Readers Theater requires no extensive sets, costumes, props, or memorized lines, the ‘performers’ are able to focus on bringing the text alive by using their voices, facial expressions and gestures allowing the audience to visualize the actions. Rehearsing for a Reader’s Theater performance provides an authentic opportunity for our students to develop fluency, increase comprehension, as well as develop self-confidence as readers. Most of all, our students have fun practicing and performing and feel a true sense of success."
One of the people who helped bring the Readers Theater to the Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, Ms. Gina Faust, had this to say about the program.
”As educators, we know that children learn best when learning is put into context. We need to provide our students with a variety of explanatory strategies. Strategies that meet all learning styles. Students must be able to make meaningful connections between what they have already learned and new learning.
‘Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.’ This Chinese proverb rings true…
One way we do this is through Readers Theater. Reader’s Theater emerged from the work of site based teams several years back. The goal was to integrate reading, art and music as enrichment. It has grown to also incorporate writing, social studies, social issues and of course technology to encourage teamwork, build confidence, improve reading fluency and support artistic expression as well as motivate the reluctant reader.
Roosevelt’s literacy coach, Christine Bartell, and school librarian, Roseann Davidson, collaborate with the second grade teachers (and our art, music and technology teachers) to plan and carry out all of the elements of our Readers Theater Presentations.” Roosevelt Art Teacher, Meredith Brustman did a great job helping the kids make the backdrop.