Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
This paper explores using theater to develop literacy and deepen the comprehension of literature for elementary aged students. Using Louise Rosenblatt’s (1994) framework for aesthetic reading, it discusses the ways in which theater facilitates the reader’s selection, interpretations, and analysis of plots, settings, and characters. This transactional relationship between the reader and text is explored with particular focus on the multi-sensory experiences in theater which support students’ perspective taking. In particular, it explores the visual and kinesthetic opportunities that theater offers to differentiate instruction for diverse learners. In addition, when children engage with theater as participants, they practice expression, building fluency as readers, and benefit socially from engaging in collaborative activities with their peers in a developmentally appropriate manner. Finally, a sample scene from a theatrical adaptation of Peter Pan is analyzed to show educators the opportunities available for building these skills with their students in the classroom or on a stage.
Harrington, A. B. (2018). Using Theater to Promote the Development of Literacy and Reading Comprehension. New York : Bank Street College of Education. Retrieved from https://educate.bankstreet.edu/independent-studies/236