Date of Award
Dr. Janet Deck
Due to the No Child Left Behind policy of 2001, school systems are held to a higher standard with more advanced curricular aims. The resulting intense focus on content leaves little time for extracurricular activities such as the arts. Yet, educators may still include the arts in their classrooms by integrating the arts into curricular content. For example, the use of an arts integrated reader’s theater gives teachers the opportunity to integrate all four strands of the arts and teach oral reading fluency.
This study was guided by the enquiry of how reader’s theater integrates the arts and influences student oral reading fluency. Literature was collected and analyzed with three overall guiding sections: the arts, oral reading fluency, and student skill development. Furthermore, two third grade educators were interviewed on their use of reader’s theater and its perceived effects on their students’ oral reading fluency.
Interview data showed that reader’s theater does integrate the arts; however, drama and the visual arts were used much more commonly than music and dance. Interview data also showed that students did improve their oral reading fluency with the use of reader’s theater. Because students had a reason to reread the text, they practiced more frequently with more motivation. Furthermore, reader’s theater allowed students the opportunity to build confidence, creativity, critical thinking, comprehension, and collaboration. In summary, an arts integrated reader’s theater brought creativity to the classroom and taught oral reading fluency in an effective and engaging manner.
Allen, Alissa Marie, "Once More With Feeling: Elementary Classroom Teachers’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Reader’s Theater" (2016). Selected Honors Theses. 56.