If you ask ask what I prefer, I love sitting quietly with a good book and getting lost in an adventure....IT IS THE BEST!!!! BUT.... I LOVE READING TO MY STUDENTS! I am a clown and love to act out the stories with different props and voices. I love reader’s theater. Come on! It’s play time with learning....what more could I want or my students want, for that matter?!
El Capibara Con Botas by Mira Canion is my book of choice and it is perfect for my version of reader’s theater. I regularly now do TEATRO DE PELUCHE instead of straight up reader’s theater. It is me or my students acting with a cast of stuffed animals and all of my or my students’ silly voices. I read the chapter, plus I personally add some conversation in with the characters to expand upon what is happening in the chapter. I talk to the characters as if I were interviewing them. If the character says something, I may question them or tease them. I also talk to my students who are the spectators. I add in some silly humor joking with them about what is going on and WE HAVE FUN! Students will return after missing a day saying, “You didn’t read that book while I was out yesterday, did you?” I’ve had students say, “ In what other class does a teacher get down on the floor and play with stuffed animals (and a fart app ) to teach you??!!” They ask for it, they enjoy it and they are excited when it is on the day’s agenda. Sometimes in reader’s theater, it is hard to get kids to ham it up when they act and to feel comfortable enough to really put themselves out there in a part, but when you are making a stuffed animal or a puppet act, it is different and almost gives a universal permission slip to be silly and dopey and allow the stuffed animal/puppet to do what the student would never just do on their own.
Here is a clip of me reading chapter four of El Capibara con Botas to my seventh graders:
Here is a clip of us reading a chapter of El Capibara con Botas and my students are acting with the stuffed animals:
Is it for everyone? Probably not. I am silly and a ham. I always say,”take what works and leave the rest,” but for me, it is truly enjoyable. I really look forward to the days that I know I come in and read to my students, because we all get lost in the adventure together. We all experience the magic of the book together. I’m a mom of five....I appreciate disappearing into an adventure in a book all on my own, for sure, but sometimes, it’s fun to read a book and have other people there to share the excitement, humor, sorrow and fear with....other people who get what’s going on and are in the same club as you. It’s fun to hear students walking out of class and telling the next class, “We’re Reading today. It is sooooo funny!”
Here is my Capibara YouTube video playlist of videos:
I would love to hear ideas and feedback!