Activities to Promote Literature Transactions

Read Aloud

Procedure: selection, preparation, practice, observational responses (voice intonation, tone, expression, gestures), conclusion, intellectual responses, affective responses


Procedure includes selection of a story you like, know the story well (picture scenes, characters, choose words well, over learn, list key events, use notes sparingly, work harder on the beginning and ending), establish rapport with audience so they share the mood, observe responses and adjust with tricks of the trade. Start with Robert Maunsch's books .

Book Discussions

Procedure includes selection of and asking the right questions. Questions to help plan interactions are:

  1. What makes the selection an excellent choice?
  2. What can be gained from the selection?
  3. What aspects of the story will require exploration for children to understand and interpret them?
  4. Which story characters are important to the story?
  5. To which characters will children most likely identify?
  6. Can children understanding the character's motives? If not what can be done to help their understanding?
  7. What kinds of story elements should be discussed in order to aid interpretation of not only the seletction but future readings?
  8. Can this selection be related to children's experiences, interests, and concerns?

Ideas to help ask questions to facilitate a discussion.

Start with open ended questions and avoid closed questions unless there is a need to focus student's attention on information to mediate learning or discussion. Ask questions that cause students to infer, interpret, evaluate, and to relate to the book and or characters.

  1. In what ways are __and __different? Or the same?
  2. Why do you think the author said _?
  3. Why do you think the author had the character do _?
  4. What questions would you like to ask the author or characters?
  5. What is so _ about _?
  6. What is the best part of the book? What makes it the best? Would others agree with this? Why?
  7. What might someone else like about the book?
  8. How did _ feel when _?
  9. Which minor character did you like best?
  10. If you were a character how would you have acted when _?
  11. How else could _ have handled the problem of _?
  12. What do you think the author is telling us when _?
  13. What important idea did you find throughout this book?
  14. Did you learn anything about different people from the book? If so, what was it?
  15. How is this story like another story you read?
  16. What does this passage mean?

Role playing

Select stories with good dialogue. Konigsburg, L'Engle, Cleary, and

Choral Speaking

Select stories with good characterization, natural flow of the language, style, smooth flow, Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweilrer, and

Creative Dramatics

Procedure 1) warm-up 2) select role-players 3) prepare audience to observe 4) set the stage 5) do it? 6) discuss and evaluate? 7) do it again? 8) discuss 9) generalize.

Story Theater

Procedure: 1) read aloud or tell the story 2) help identify the characters 3) guide the group to pantomime the characters 4) review the story or plot 5) allow time for practice 6) arrange the area 7) read or tell the story as actors pantomime it. Anansi the Spider, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Little Pigs, The Bremen Town-Musicians, Mother Goose rhymes , and Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears.

Oral Interpretation

Procedure 1) choose a good story or poem, 2) tell it or read it to the children 3) Involve them in identifying the characters and scenes needed for dramatization. 4) Carry out in-depth discussion of character traits and allow time for pantomiming of characters. 5) Let children decide who will play each character part. 6) Give the players a short time to analyze the first scene and to plan and practice their performances, creating their own dialogue. 7) Prepare the audience to critique the performance. 8) Have the scene played before the audience. 9) Guide audience discussion of the scene. 10) Allow for a replaying of the scene, whether with the same cast or with a new group. 11) Work on each scene in the same way, then play through the entire story. 12) Guide audience discussion of the complete enactment. 13) Replay, if there is time.







Film Making



Writing and Recording Music



Readers' Theater








Web pages



Drawings and paintings





Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©