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What is a Script-Story?

What is a Script-Story?

On this site you will find the term script-story thrown around a lot. Why? It's the motivational reading strategy that has given me the most success. Okay, “success” is underselling it a bit. Script-stories is the strategy that has given me so many relevant literature discussions, so many student “Aha!” moments, so many thoughtful essays, so many “Hey, I remember that story from three years ago!” comments, so many times I was thankful to be an English teacher, that I just can’t help sharing it with others. I know I’m being gushy, but I can’t help it. It really works.       

I use “script-story” as my term for a Reader’s Theater play because I think it captures the essence of how I use Reader’s Theater in my classroom. A script-story is a version of a story that students read like a script with narration, multiple reading parts, and even sound effects! Sometimes using the term “Reader’s Theater play” gives the impression that students are required to stand on stage and act, which causes many of them to shy away. Yet, unlike traditional theater, script-stories do not require costumes, make-up, props, stage sets, or memorization. Only the script and a healthy imagination are needed. As students read the script aloud, they interpret the emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and motives of the characters. A narrator conveys the story’s setting and action and provides the commentary necessary for the transitions between scenes.

While script-stories have been enormously successful with lower grade-levels, they are also a great fit for older learners as well. Students of any age enjoy and appreciate the chance to experience a story rather than having it read to them. For years now script-stories have been a tool that I use to teach literature, history, and mythology to high-schoolers. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

UP NEXT: How to Use Script-Stories in the Classroom