Date of Award

Fall 8-13-2013

Document Type


First Advisor

Sharon Pajka

Second Advisor

Laurene E. Simms


Reader's theater is a method used in classrooms to encourage the development of literacy skills. Research has shown that the use of reader's theater in a classroom is linked to increased fluency, increased comprehension of text, and positive attitudes towards reading. Because research also shows that Deaf people are often delayed regarding literacy in English, a unit employing this method serves to bridge the gap between expected and actual levels of English literacy among deaf students. Intended for use with Deaf middle school students who sign, this unit of reader's theater is a plausible option in a bilingual approach since it combines American Sign Language and written English. For this unit, three young adult novels containing similar themes--autonomy, medical ethics, and conformity--were selected. Four scenes from each book have been adapted into reader's theater scripts. In addition to a set of four scripts for each book, this reader's theater unit contains a series of classroom discussion questions, classroom activities, and assessment tools. The assessment tools measure changes in the students' literacy skills and attitudes towards reading.



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