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When third graders at Timpanogos Elementary school heard that they were going to create their own puppet show, they were ecstatic. Little did they know, the puppet show would also help to improve their reading fluency skills.
The students were challenged to create a reader’s theatre with puppets. Reader’s Theatre is when students use scripts created from children’s books or other resources to read aloud and perform. The concept of a reader’s theatre is to help students practice their reading strategies while also practicing reading aloud with a purpose. Reader’s Theatre relieves pressure from students by teaching them how to feel confident reading aloud by creating a fun, positive atmosphere for them to practice in.
This activity was done in Mrs. Booker’s 3rd grade fluency group and the students had been working for the past week to memorize their lines. They were then challenged with the task of creating a puppet and a show to go along with their memorized lines. The students had the opportunity to choose how their stage would look, design their own puppets and learn how to accommodate the stage scenery changes with the story.
Students loved this activity and were even able to record their puppet show on the final day of the performances. Through this activity, students were able to further improve their reading fluency, become more confident reading aloud and learn how to read with a purpose — all with the help of homemade puppets.