Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sound Effects Theater

This is another very quick post-reading strategy which I learned from the great Carol Gaab last summer at NTPRS and then saw demonstrated again at ACTFL last November as part of Krista Applegate's presentation. I do not know if they specifically called it "Sound Effects Theater" - I call it that - and it is a variation of Readers Theater. Instead of acting out a story (like in Readers Theater), the class adds sound effects to the reading.

The idea is simple: assign students to make certain sound effects every time a particular vocabulary word is said in a story which is being told/read aloud.

Example of some sounds with vocabulary words:
pater - "da da"
mater - "mommy"
iratus - "grrrrr"
tristis - "boohoo"
scribit - "Dear Diary"
leo - "ROAR"
feles - "meow"
pirata - "arrr"
pulsat - "POW"


  1. You will read aloud/tell the story a few times.
  2. When reading aloud/telling the story the first time, do it slowly and allow for the assigned students to make the sound after you say the word - if the word is repeated more than once in the story, the better!  
  3. Read aloud/tell the story again, but do it a little faster. Students who are making the sound effects will have to keep up with the pace.
  4. Read aloud/tell the story again, but now quickly. Those making the sound effects will really have to listen so that they do not miss their cue! 


  1. Another fun way to re-read through a known story and to get in repetitions of vocabulary. Even though the story speeds up with each reading, because it is a known story, the reading remains comprehehensible for students.
  2. Another way for students to personalize vocabulary and to associate it with a sound.

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