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Book Talk & Reader's Theater Suggestions
Reader's Theater

Choosing a Scene

  • Choose scenes (lines) from the novel that revolves around the conflict of the story or the climax.
Narrator
  • Used to bridge the gaps between scenes, show lapses of time, or summarize action that has taken place between scenes.

  • The purpose of the narrator is to set the stage.

  • The narrator will briefly introduce the characters who will be speaking and the names of the student reading each part should be stated.

  • The narrator may also give relevant information about events preceding the one being presented, identification of the setting and mood to be presented.

  • At the conclusion of the scene(s), the narrator usually closes with a summary statement or by suggesting the types of events that are to come -- the cliffhanger. 

Other Tips
  • It is much easier to create a script if the scene(s) you select contain a lot of conversation (dialogue) between a limited number of characters. A good rule of thumb is no more than 3-4 characters who are engaged in a conversation or series of conversations.

  • It may be appropriate to cut minor characters and give their lines to major characters or leave out part of the dialogue if it does not impact the story you are telling.

  • You may also add a description of the tone of voice -- angrily, quietly -- or a gesture -- waving her hand wildly -- or a facial expression -- lips pursed, frowning using italicized text. (These italicized words will not be spoken by your characters.)

  • At the beginning of the script sketch the location of the seating for each character.

  • The script should be typed or printed.

  • This script is not memorized, but read word for word from your handwritten or typed copy. Make sure you know how to pronounce all words before reading the script.

  • Reader's Theatre Scripts should range from 60 seconds to 5 minutes in length.

Book Talk
  • This should be memorized, although you may have a cue card in case you go blank.

  • This is comprable to a movie preview. 

  • Present the characters (describe them) and a hint of the plot, but never reveal the ending.

  • Leave the reader guessing with a cliffhanger in the form of a question or two.

  • You may tell the story in first person, adopting the persona of one of the characters or in third person as the narrator.

  • Always end with something like, "To find out insert the title of your book by insert the author.

  • Book Talks should range from 60 seconds to 5 minutes in length.

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