Reflection: Lesson Planning Building Relationships with the Characters through Illustrations and Reader's Theatre - Section 3: Reader's Theatre


I know that many teachers don't think that reading in class is productive, especially if the students are reading, not the teacher. The common philosophy is that it's slower and a waste of class time because they can read on their own. I understand where they are coming from with this theory, and at one time I thought the same thing, but I have completely changed the perspective. I acknowledge that it is slower, a fact that sometimes drives me crazy, since other teachers seem to be flying through books, but slower at the beginning is more productive in the long run. Today reminded me of this fact. Many students had trouble interpreting the tone of the dialogue as we read, but not the humor in the long reflective paragraphs; a fact that surprised me. 

I am always surprised by what they don't know. Just last week, a student asked me what "drop a line" meant while we were reading; he thought it was drug related! If we hadn't been reading together, I am confident he would not have asked. I'm not suggesting that such a colloquial phrase is essential, but the incident reminded me that their worlds are small and they need a lot of guiding. Plus, I want to encourage them to ask these types of questions.

I was reminded how important it is to hear students reading, and what they are thinking while reading, especially at the beginning of the year, because it is a window into their process and their background. It is slower, but it's not a waste of time. It's the foundation they need to work through the language, instead of running to Sparknotes, which they would do instead of reading, and which would make at-home reading assignments a waste of time.

  Reading Aloud
  Lesson Planning: Reading Aloud
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Building Relationships with the Characters through Illustrations and Reader's Theatre

Unit 1: Great Expectations Ch. 1-6: Foundation
Lesson 7 of 10

Objective: SWBAT determine the meaning of words used in the text, including connotative meanings, and how words create tone, by first focusing on the character's names and their effect on the reader, and then on his diction throughout the chapter.

Big Idea: The names of Dickens' characters are not only humorous, but also connote their personalities and bring meaning.

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