Creating puppet plays from favorite picture books is a great way to improve fluency in early readers.
According to Tim Rasinski, "Fluency is the ability to read accurately, quickly, expressively, with good phrasing, AND with good comprehension."
According to me, Rasinski is the guru of fluency. He has spoken and written on fluency and has a vast database of fluency research. I got the chance to hear him speak once and he was phenomenal and funny. very very funny. Check out his website, it has lots of great fluency resources.
Repeated readings of a familar text help your child orchestrate their reading strategies on the text. Performing the text can be a fun way to practice a repeated reading.
Consider retyping the text or writing the text onto chart paper with a large font and plenty of spacing between words. This will help your child be able to manage holding the puppet and reading the text.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear was one that worked well when I taught first graders-- especially if you have several students to do the play. There are printable puppets at DLTK for each animal in the story-- as well as ideas for using the puppets.
I also love this extensive list of K-3 Reader's Theater
There are scripts for books like:
"Fire, Fire!" Said Mrs. Guire By Bill Martin Jr.
As well as poems by authors such as Margaret Wise Brown
Things to look for when choosing a picture book to turn into a puppet play
- 2-3 characters in the story-- so children don't have to manipulate too many puppets
- repetitive texts
- familiar sight words
- a story that is able to be retold
- a book or story that interests your child
The Child can read 95% of words in the book accurately-- this article will tell you how to calcuate accuracy
The Child automatically recognizes most of the words
The Child can read the text with expression and proper phrasing
Do your children perform puppet plays?
Where have you located good scripts for puppet play?