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Reader's Theater

This book lends itself to an opportunity for a wonderful Reader’s Theater script and performance. Kids of all ages will find it easy to write and fun to perform. Use these guidelines for planning the show. Review the adaptations below to expand upon a regular Reader’s Theater.

Define Reader’s Theater

It is a skill building activity to improve reading fluency which affects comprehension.  Children read scripts aloud based on a grade level appropriate book or story. Most of the time these read aloud scripts are created and written by students and “performed” without costumes or props.


If used in a school setting, teachers may want to develop an assessment rubric that will suit the class, type of readers and the overall performance of each.


Reader’s Theater is a kinesthetic and interactive activity that will enrich kids’ reading abilities. Performing this story will emphasize the problem that we face regarding trash, litter and recycling...all of which kids will deal with as they grow up.


Drawing of Owl

How to Develop a Reader’s Theater

  1. Choose a script: "Who Will Save the Desert?" is PERFECT! Kids can develop the script to be read based on this story.

  2. Adapt the script: Kids can work together to break down the speaking parts including a narrator. They can identify the dialogue to be “performed”. 

  3. Assign parts: Kids can try out the different parts and choose the one they would like. If this is performed more than one time, kids should try different parts and share roles.

  4. Rehearse: Kids can practice their individual parts at home or during school or camp periods. It may be helpful for kids to highlight their lines to ensure fluency as a whole during performances.

  5. Perform: The kids should do a practice with other kids or adults to help review their parts. Then “perform” for an audience. It can be parents, other classes, or another reading group.


  1. Try adding props and costumes or masks. These can be made from recycled materials, such as paper bags, boxes, old clothing, etc.

  2. Perform in various locations (libraries, schools, camps, etc) and at the end speak about the importance of recycling and picking up litter.

  3. Try adding script for the other animals in the book or add more desert creatures to the performance. Encourage the kids to write what that character would encounter in the desert. Research may need to be completed on each animal to figure out the habitat and defenses.

  4. At the end of a performance have kids share an activity they have done as a result of recycling. They can encourage the audience to do the same.

 Let's help heal the world!

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