Monday, October 24, 2011

Reading Through Play Outside of a Play

On Thursday of last week, the 3rd graders read a play called "The Legend of Damon and Pythias." They seemed relatively excited to read it. They were excited to read it because 12 of 22 students took on a role. I'll tell you the roles that I can remember: Damon, Pythias, King, first robber, second robber, mother, announcer, sound effects, etc.. Also, Mr. Agajan gave a role to the remainder of the class. For example, when the play indicated that the entire crowd would say "Set them free! Set them both free," everyone who does not have a particular role would participate by expressing lines that are meant to be expressed collectively and in the background. Further, everyone was encouraged to act out their roles.

To take this a step further, reading through play doesn't need to be limited to if the story explicitly states the various roles/characters in it. The minimum requirement to read a story in a play-like way is for it to have different characters. That's a pretty easy requirement to satisfy. Since the story will not necessarily state the particular roles as explicit as a play would, you must explicitly state what the different roles are to the students. That way, you can tell the students which roles that they can take on. After that, the students will simply need to be ready for when they must act out the lines of their role, which will require them to keep track of where everyone is in the story. Generally, it is less obvious when one character or another is talking in a story than in a play.

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