Readers’ Theater Takes Audience on Adventures of ‘Flat Stanley’
With simple costumes and scripts in hand, Roosevelt Elementary School second graders in Mr. Brian Agostini and Ms. Jessica Paladino’s class performed a Readers’ Theater for families and friends on Jeff Brown’s Flat Stanley, June 11.
Using animated gestures and inflecting their voices, students took turns reading the adventures of Stanley Lambchop who makes the best of his flattened state by sliding under locked doors, getting rolled up to go out to the park to play with his younger brother, and by being used as a kite. He also gets mailed in an envelope to visit friends in California and helps catch some thieves who attempt to rob an art museum by posing as one of the paintings on the wall. Flat Stanley is eventually brought back to his natural boyhood shape with the aid of a bicycle pump.
According to Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Ms. Tami McElwee, the goal of the Readers’ Theater is to focus on reading the text with expressive voices and gestures, rather than to memorize lines or wear elaborate costumes.
Each of the five second-grade classes performs a Readers’ Theater during the year. The performances are coordinated by Literacy Coach
Students in Mr. Agostini and Ms. Paladino's class are all smiles after performing a Readers' Theater on Flat Stanley.
Ms. Chris Bartell and Library Media Specialist Ms. Roseann Davidson, in collaboration with art teacher Ms. Meredith Brustman, who designs a mural as a backdrop, and music teacher Ms. Brenda Murphy, who leads the students in a song or instrument.
This Readers’ Theater featured a mural of Flat Stanley sliding through a locked door as members of his family look on. There were also pictures of each student’s face on a flat body. For the music component, student participated in a piano recital that took place later in the day.