Readers Theater Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Readers theater might be described as a deconstructed method of acting. This lesson plan teaches students about readers theater with the help of a text lesson and a simple performance activity.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'readers theater'
  • distinguish between the different types of readers theater


1.5 to 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.


Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 6 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)

Key Vocabulary

  • Readers theater
  • Minimalism
  • Performative
  • Developmental
  • Educational


  • Paper copies of the text lesson What is Readers Theater? - Definition & Examples, one per student
  • A worksheet created using the quiz associated with the text lesson
  • Several video clips exemplifying readers theater
  • Photocopies of a dialogue-rich script with many characters, one copy per student
  • Small slips of paper, each with one character's name from the script
  • A bowl or container
  • Highlighters


  • Begin by placing all of the character name slips in the bowl.
  • Have students take turns drawing one slip from the bowl. The name they draw will be their character in the script.
    • If you have a large class, you may need to designate two 'casts.'
  • Pass out the copies of the text lesson to the class.
  • Instruct the class to read the introduction and 'The Roots of Readers Theater' sections of the text lesson.
  • As they are reading, write the vocabulary terms on the board.
  • Review the meaning of each vocabulary term with the class when they have finished reading.
  • Now have the class read the rest of the text lesson.
  • Pass out the worksheet and have students work independently to complete it.
  • Once complete, go over the quiz in its entirety, answering any questions students may have before moving on to the activity.

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