Students with reading difficulties don't enjoy reading, especially aloud in front of others. What can improve their interest in reading? Based on current trends demonstrating best practice, the use of Readers Theater may spark this interest for reluctant readers. This is the focus of our study. We are using a pre-test/post-test format with a class of 16 second graders to determine whether students enjoy reading content area material more when it is presented as a play. Each student is individually informally assessed by reading a passage and interviewed with questions exploring how they feel about reading before and after this experience. Every student in the class is tested, but the focus is on the results of the reluctant readers. The students are given parts in a story in which they practice and perform for each other; repeatedly reading stories as they are practiced for performance has been shown to increase fluency. This is especially important for students with reading difficulties and we predict that these students will want to read this material more because they are having fun. We also feel that increased fluency correlates with increased comprehension of the material. This will support their learning in all subject areas.
Conrad, Raimie; McIver, Tiffanie; Miller, Ashley; and Tino, Gabriella, "Making Reading Fun: Using Reader’s Theater to Increase Interest, Fluency, and Comprehension in Reluctant Readers" (2011). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 19.