Picture Books as Reader's Theater

Mrs. Bredberg

Picture books use BOTH words and illustrations to tell their story.

Illustrations often tell us what the words do not say. We use the pictures to give us as readers a deeper understanding of the story.

To write reader's theater,
you must use information from both
the words and the pictures.

But first - lets talk about FORMAT

Words in the book may become lines for characters in your script.

Character names in bold because it is easier to read.

Make sure you include information from the pictures!

Notice how the words and the pictures say two different things!

I included the information from the pictures as stage direction in the reader's theater.

Stage Direction provides information about how the characters on the stage are acting (not what they are saying). It also sometimes provides information about setting.

In the Reader's Theater scripts we will show Stage Direction with parenthesis.

ex. (The Rabbit nervously looked right and left.)

Character names are in capital letters and in bold so that they are easy to see.

Stage direction is in parenthesis and character names are in bold.

All together!


Keats, E. J. (1962). Snowy day. New York: Viking Press.

Klassen, J. (2012). This is not my hat. Somerville, Mass: Candlewichk Press.

Klassen, J. (2011). I want my hat back. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press.

Sendack, M. (1963). Where the wild things are. New York: Harper & Row.

Staake, B. (2013). Bluebird. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.