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The media center at Midland School #1 became center stage once again as students from Mrs. Oliver’s classes presented funny poems from various children’s authors. During this year’s presentation on June 10th, entitled “A Slice of Summer”, the 2nd and 3rd grade students showcased their fluency talents, as a culmination to Reader’s Theatre, before an audience of first grade students, teachers, and parents.
Laughter abounded as the performers portrayed the silly summertime antics of the characters through voice, facial expressions and gestures, and theatrical props such as scuba gear, a tackle box and gummy worms, a fly swatter, Calamine lotion, a time-out chair, and a bug in a letter addressed to Mom and Dad from camp. Each poem had its own twist or surprise ending, such as the following last stanza taken from Linda Knaus’s “Garage Sale”: “And then it got ridiculous, so that’s when I got mad. Hey lady! Some things aren’t for sale—now please put down my dad!”
All of the students, both on-stage and off-stage, not only had a lot of fun, but also learned a lot of new vocabulary words as they were highlighted and defined from each poem. At the conclusion of the performance, a second grade student guided a first grade student in the practice of echo and choral reading to demonstrate the effectiveness of repeated reading, and all were encouraged to practice the technique over the summer break. In addition to walking away with some food for thought, the children in attendance walked away with a matching game of the poem titles and pictures from each poem, as well as the name of a poetry website that they can make use of over the summer break.
Mrs. Oliver was very pleased with the performance and enthusiasm of the readers, as well as the receptivity and participation of the audience. All of the students, those in the spotlight and those gathered around to listen, benefited from this rich, literacy experience.