There is something about fall that adds additional spirit to the classroom. The crisp air at recess, the buzz of Halloween costumes, and the excitement of all the activities and events that fill up family calendars makes fall an exciting and festive time of year.
My three favorite things about fall on the home front are:
- Getting to watch my kiddos participate in the activities they love: football, soccer, and costume dress-up.
- Wearing scarves again.
- Pumpkin everything! Even in our yard…
At school, my fall favorites are:
- The established settling into our daily routine.
- The excitement of beginning literature circles.
- Daily fall-themed read alouds.
Fall means that we are no longer learning classroom routines and getting to know one another, but we are now digging deeper into our learning and we are ready to tackle more complex classroom concepts and tasks. Some of the BIG work we do in the upper elementary classroom is establishing expectations in literature circles in order to make this invaluable time most thoughtful and productive.
Literature circles take work. It is not possible to place a group of students elbow-elbow and knee-knee, into a small space, and expect them to tackle a text if they haven’t learned the etiquette and expectations. The way I love to gear my students up for their work together is through the use of fables turned into small group reader’s theater scripts.
During the first weeks of school, I love to read the different fables from the book Fables by Arnold Lobel. During our essential read aloud time, I read a fable aloud, then we talk about the characters, the setting, and the morals that occur throughout the course of the story. I share that we will be seeing these fables again, but in a different context in order to work on our fluency and small group reading work.
Once we have chosen our literature circle books, and groups have been determined based on their reading preferences, we begin our work together. We don’t just jump right into our novel work, instead we practice reading aloud, taking turns, and discussing text with our small group using these Arnold Lobel-inspired fable reader’s theater scripts.
The scripts have:
- three-four character parts
- a one-page script
- response questions to discuss
Click on the image to grab this freebie!
While I love to use these scripts as preparation for our work in literature circles, you can use them for fluency practice, close reading, center work, and intervention.
By doing the work and taking the time to teach your students how to interact, engage, and collaborate together in their literature circles, your students will reap the reward of having reading time that is on-task, productive, and benefits all group members. Instead of managing groups and their behavior, you can interact with groups that are on-task and working independently because they know the expected behaviors of literature circle time.
If you are looking for more fable scripts to enhance your work in the classroom, grab these:
If you are looking for a tried and true way to get your students prepared and geared up for effective literature circle time, give these scripts a try.