Reflection: Joy A Different Kind of Bet: Twain's The Million Pound Bank Note (Day 1 of 2) - Section 2: Reading in the Play


I have taught every grade from 7-12, and the one thing that I have found is that kids love to read plays.  When you say that you are "doing a play today," the enthusiasm rivals that inspired by a surprise movie (well, almost...)

The tricky part of reading a play comes from working with your "actors."  The simple fact is that all students do not read well.  Even students who have strong comprehension skills are not always good "out loud" readers.  And there is nothing more painful than having a weak reader opt for a part that is just too challenging...and then we all have to  The meaning is lost.  The student is embarrassed/frustrated/annoyed, and the rest of the class is ready to jump out of their seats.

Here are the things I have tried:

  • Allowing students time to scan through the text before choosing a part and taking questions about any challenging words or constructions.  (You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it pre-read.)
  • Allowing students to practice their part (Not always realistic, due to timing)
  • Offering a stumbling student a "break" and --if they say yes -- having someone take over. (Works for some kids, not for others, and some get mad about this.)

One thing I try to reinforce all year is that we all have gifts and talents. I am a slow runner.  I run 5Ks, not marathons, and I finish behind old lady racewalkers.  That is OK.  Some of them are a slow readers.  Also OK.  But they need to choose their moments.


  Plays and the Struggling Reader
  Joy: Plays and the Struggling Reader
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A Different Kind of Bet: Twain's The Million Pound Bank Note (Day 1 of 2)

Unit 7: Short Stories, Plays, and Elements of Fiction
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: SWBAT both develop and comprehend characterization and themes in a work of drama.

Big Idea: A change in genre means a change in approach.

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