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TR Cooks Up a Sweet Readers' Theater


Donning colorful aprons and white chef’s hats, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School 2nd graders in Ms. Kristina Kolb’s class cooked up a Readers’ Theater with a gingerbread theme.

Standing with scripts in hand before a gingerbread mural they helped create under the direction of art teacher Ms. Meredith Brustman, students presented The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst and Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett with a recipe that called for all the traditional Readers’ Theater ingredients— a dash of articulation, a sprinkle of inflection and a heap of animation.

“With the Readers’ Theater approach to building reading skills, there isn’t any memorization or elaborate costumes,” explained Principal Ms. Tami McElwee in her welcoming remarks to families. “The focus is on the reading and on interpreting the characters, reading with a little more phrasing and fluency, and with inflection in the voice, which is great for this age.”

Taking turns at the microphones to read their assigned portions of the script, students entertained family and friends by changing the tone of their voices, using animated expressions and non-verbal gestures to bring the stories to life. A cardboard gingerbread house decorated by the students was used as a prop to help illustrate part of the story.

This performance was the second of five 2nd-grade classes that will present a Readers’ Theater throughout the year. Literacy Coach Ms. Chris Bartell and Library Media Specialist Ms. Roseann Davidson write the script and coordinate the performance, which features a music or dance element that underscores the theme. For this Readers’ Theater, students sang, Bring on the Snow from their holiday music showcase. After the program, students enjoyed refreshments provided by the PTA.