What is Reader's Theater?
Reader's Theater is a great way to teach a love of reading and increase fluency and comprehension. It is method of reading a story aloud, like a play, without memorization, props, or a stage. Students are each assigned a character role and read their part with expression, meaning, and enthusiasm. It's best done in small, non-threatening groups of approximately 6 students so students can become practiced at their roles prior to reading/performing in front of a group or audience.
U.S. Department of Education
"Repeated and monitored oral reading most effectively improves reading fluency and overall reading achievement."
-Put Reading First (Second Edition)
National Reading Panel
"Fluency is the crucial bridge between word recognition and comprehension. And repeated oral readings are a key method for building fluency in all students."
-Teaching Children to Read
Word recognition and reading comprehension improves 27% when text is presented in color compared to bold text, and 35% when presented in color compared to contrasting fonts.
Why Playbooks® ?
Playbooks® are leading social-interactive, role-play reading enrichment materials in the nation with its patented Roleplay Reader® format of color-coded dialogue text and easier and harder roles in the same story.
Playbooks® are the ONLY Reader's Theater books that are color coded and multi-level. Playbooks® are easier to read and allows teachers to include students of different levels.
Each reader’s dialogue text, not just the name in the margin, appear in a different color, making it easier for students to follow their character roles, quickly see where their part starts and stops and how much they will read, and easily be prepared for their next turn to speak. This also helps to create a sense of ownership and security in their role which leads to increased reading confidence and involvement. Color does not represent the level of the role, however, so that students do not know they've been assigned an easier or harder role.
Easier and harder roles in the same story help students avoid stumbling in front of their peers, allowing them to read aloud with confidence and accuracy. Playbooks® multi-leveled character roles are edited using a proprietary leveled word dictionary and strict sentence structure guidelines, so students achieve ultimate success and fluency among their peers. We do not simply assess what an author has written to determine what level the text might be; we actually edit and level the roles!
Playbooks® have proven outcomes
85% increase over a 6-week period.
Research shows four repeated readings sufficiently improve reading fluency. Most traditional texts can NOT hold students’ attention for up to four separate readings. Reader’s Theater truly engages students and is the most popular form of “repeated guided oral reading”, creating a fun experience for students and teachers! Check out the study for our Playbooks® program.
See Why Playbooks® are Different!
Don't take our word for it that we have the best materials around, flip through the slides below to see sample Playbooks® and the great experience your students with have with our beautiful color-coded, illustrated, and multi-leveled books.
We know efficacy is often based on implementation, so we've provided you a full implementation program to help you support your students and deliver the best experience possible.
Learn all about how to implement our standard 10 week program or make it your own.
30 minutes of video for you and your students to help implement your new Playbooks® Reader’s Theater program with purpose and care
Teachers Guides - Find a Quick Start guide as well as a detailed Step By Step Guide. All you need to start!
Reprintables & Forms - Includes Role Assignment Tools, Supplemental Worksheets, and Awards Certificates.
Shop Reader's Theater Playbooks®
Multi-Bundle Kits - ** Most Popular
We have assembled collections of the top 10 favorite Playbooks® stories in three grade spans into "Bundle Kits" along with everything you need for a successful Reader's Theater program. These kits are ideal for a 10-week reading program as it allows every student to have the opportunity to read 10 different plays, read 10 different roles and repeat them 3-4 times to build fluency, comprehension, confidence and speaking skills
Affordably priced for teachers and any grant, PASSENGERS is a dynamic and creative role-play reading series with multiple scripts that transport students through learning important topics in Math, Science, and Social Studies in the most fun and engaging way.