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Readers’ Theatre for interpretive summary

ONE CREATIVE AND USEFUL APPLICATION of Readers’ Theatre that I’ve been experimenting with is something I’ve called ‘interpretive summary’. It works particularly well when a teacher is reading a long work of fiction with a class of students. There are many novels suitable for use as a stimulus for P4C, such as ‘Tuck Everlasting’ by Natalie Babbitt. Interpretive summary would also work well for the novels of Matthew Lipman, particularly if there isn’t enough time to get through a whole novel in the time you have with a class or if you want the pupils to read some sections at home.

How it works
When using a novel for p4c, the students write and perform Readers’ Theatre scripts of key chapters. They proceed to create questions, then choose and discuss one in the normal way.

However, they also write and perform ‘interpretive summary scripts’ for those sections of the story between the key chapters. Interpretive summary dramatises chunks of the story using words taken from the text itself combined with summaries of the plot and interpretive comments.

I’ve written a full description of the ‘interpretive summary’ process in the attached document. I explain why it is useful and I provide a worked example taken from ‘Tuck Everlasting’.

Gaye Hubble has produced a teaching resource for ‘Tuck’ (See Analytic Teaching, vol. 18, no. 1)) using a P4C approach. Not all the items will be useful but there are some good ideas and the resource is extensive and freely available.


Interpretive Summary PDF


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