Task One - Finding the Book/Story
Personal Interest Reading
Begin the children's literature unit with stories that reflect the interests of the students in the class. This can be developed in different ways. For instance, prior to the unit, the classroom teacher can brainstorm topics of interests with students. The list created by the brainstorm can then be voted on. The top two or three topics are used to pull together reading materials for the class to study.
Alternately, the classroom teacher can have the students make a list of the students' countries of origin or heredity. Stories from around the world can then be collected and used for the unit. This is an excellent way to present literature in a multicultural classroom, as it allows the students to connect with stories that relate to their own lives. This unit can be linked to world history, as well, furthering the discussion as well as the learning processes.
In addition, many schools use "Theme" teaching. Books based on the particular theme can be gathered. For example, if the class or school were observing the theme of "Rainforests," books about the rainforest or books taking place in the rainforest would be gathered for students to explore.
Finally, the classroom teacher, if they have a prescribed curriculum, can have the students preview the books from the curriculum and then vote on the one or two they wish to use for their dramatization. What is important to remember is that children and reader's theater are a winning combination.