Alongside 42 different plays, Dramatic Learning offers many tools for classroom instruction, library programming, and distance learning:
- How to use this site, which helps users get the most out of the site.
- Lesson plans to accompany plays.
- Mini-inquiry projects to cross the curriculum and incorporate critical thinking skills.
- Play starters, which help students get started with creative writing.
- Posters and programs to bring your play to the stage.
- Skits and monologues to practice performing and public speaking.
World Book's Dramatic Learning expands proven approaches to building reading fluency and content comprehension. By turning texts into plays, skits, and monologues and providing teaching tools to apply these materials in the classroom, Dramatic Learning can help students become more fluent readers, understand core concepts, and internalize content.
Plays inherently come with built-in strategies to help students read better. The acting out of play dialogue compels readers to work more closely with the text to interpret it and project meaning into the experience. As a result, students show improvement in vocabulary, comprehension, and retention.
Critical Links, a study by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, concluded that “the value of classroom theater in facilitating an understanding and interpretation of literature is deep and long lasting.” Further, the study reported that “research shows consistent positive associations between dramatic enactment and reading comprehension.”
Additional research has shown that repeated guided oral reading is the most effective method for improving fluency. According to the National Reading Panel, guided repeated oral reading procedures that included guidance from teachers and peers had a significant and positive impact on word recognition, fluency, and comprehension across a range of grade levels.
Many studies have shown that while it is essential to provide students with high-interest, leveled-reading texts, reading fluency among struggling and reluctant readers will not improve unless students are also instructed on how to read and comprehend these materials. Time to Act, a study by the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy, found that “reading aloud or guided reading can (help improve reading fluency) by exposing students to how written texts capture the rhythms of speech, and also by providing them with the opportunity to hear the proper pronunciation of new words.” The study found that educators who encouraged repeated readings through performance and reader’s theater saw marked improvement in reading fluency.
See it and Try it
Witness the remarkable results of Dramatic Learning through this series of videos that show how a fourth-grade class used the program to learn and perform Hamlet in only one week.
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