Zak Hamby offers free materials to teachers on his website mythologyteacher.com. He has published several textbooks (the Reaching Olympus and Mythology for Teens series) that utilize reader’s theater approach and has presented at numerous conferences across the nation. His textbooks appear in Teacher’s Discovery magazine, and some of his materials have appeared in New York’s Common Core curriculum.
Hamby provided a few ideas for others interested in reader’s theater:
“My first piece of advice for other teachers is to be open-minded and flexible when trying reader’s theater script-stories in your classroom. It can be a little unsettling because you are relinquishing a little bit of your control. You are giving students a more active role and the freedom to interpret the written word on their own; however, I think you will find that students will really take to this approach – so much, in fact, that they may view reading aloud as ‘fun’ instead of ‘work.’
This brings me to my second piece of advice. Don’t let the fact that something is fun and interactive lead you to believe it is too simplistic or ineffective. The biggest complaint that I have heard against this approach is that it’s not challenging enough for students. I agree that effective silent reading is a skill that all students should have. But when students can experience a story together and have fun while doing it, they truly do internalize the literature and adopt it as their own. One of my goals as an English teacher is to develop a love of reading in students. I also don’t want to see these stories die out. This technique allows me to pass literature on to the next generation by showing them that it can be exciting and engaging.
Any teacher interested in trying this approach should try a script-story in their classroom one day and gauge the students’ response to it. There are several available for free on the mythologteacher.com website.”