Let’s Dabble In a Little Reading, Shall We?!

I have tried a number of different literacy strategies, but I always fall back on the workshop model. I have tried the Daily 3, 4, and 5 (didn’t like it). I have done lit circles, book clubs, reading workshop, guided groups, strategy groups, the WHOLE gamut. What works best for you all?  I love pulling my kids to the carpet and explicitly teaching them strategies with mentor texts. I love giving students the freedom of independent reading time. Conferring with my students is one of my favorite parts of the day, and they light up when they are given the opportunity to share their achievements during our celebration time.

Class Library - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
A picture of my classroom library from my first year of teaching. It has come a long way since then!

One of my favorite things to use during my literacy block are readers theater plays. I am sure many of you can agree. They are a blast and my kids absolutely love them. They are a great way to incorporate your other subjects into your literacy block, too! I have so many reader’s theater scripts with social studies content, science content, and even a few with math tied in. The most important part of using readers theater scripts is that students have the opportunity to practice their fluency. It also allows your students some fun time to work together. One of my favorite parts is when I walk the room as students are choosing parts. I can always get a better feel for those strong personalities and leaders versus those quiet and shy kids. I can also assess Speaking and Listening Standards as I walk the room. These are great teachable moments about working together as a group.

Something I added to many of our readers theater plays are props! They are so easy to use and add so much more to my students’ performances!

Reader's Theater Props - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
Reader's Theater Props - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
Reader's Theater Props - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
Reader's Theater Props - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
I bought the wooden sticks at Michael’s for about $2.00, and they come in many different sizes. You can either print these out on card stock, or put a piece of thick foam paper under the outline and trace the template with an knife or scissors (the squishy foam paper kind- if that makes sense?), or even laminate them to make them last longer. You can either use black electrical tape or a hot glue gun to adhere the props to the sticks. SO much fun! *Just click on the images below and the props will automatically download to your computer. Enjoy!!

*Photo props and images courtesy of: Oh Happy Day Blog


  1. I agree with you about Math being black and white while Reading is more of a gray area. I do my own version of Daily 3 in my classrom. Last year, I did Read to Self, Read to Someone and Word Work. I had to have HIGH accountability measures in place for every center. I teach inner city and these kiddos don’t like to read! I do a kind of workshop model as far as the mini lesson is concerned. I pull guided reading groups while the kids are at their Daily 3. I would love to just have them reading and responding the whole time, but they just don’t have the stamina for that (and many don’t have the skils!). I am working on some reading resource packs now that align with common core. Like you, I have done so much for Math that I need to focus some on reading. I enjoy reading your blog!

  2. Just came across this post. I can’t wait to use the props next year. I am a math focus teacher so I teach all the 5th graders math and then my homeroom ELA. I definitely need to focus more on the ELA next year.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m reading all your old blog posts!! I absolutely LOVE your blog!! Just finished my first year teaching 4th :)

    Did YOU laminate these props? Love them!!! Just trying to figure out how to make them last and be as durable as possible!

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