I'm teaching the play version of A Christmas Carol to my 8th graders. We are "acting" it out as we read with some minor props and costume suggestions. The kids, however, are still stumbling on some of the words in the script making reading unbearable at certain times. Does anyone have any suggestions for this problem? Also, any ideas for activities for teaching this unit would also be more than welcomed.

Tags: drama, reading

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Try previewing the words words before you begin. You could also have students preview their own lines the night before. They can look up words on the Merriam Webster website (m-w.com), where you can click on a little speaker symbol and hear the pronunciation. Give extra points for the students who do this and execute their lines effectively by practicing beforehand.
That's a good idea. I'm amazed each day when my students read aloud at the words that they can't pronounce.
The could also copy their scripts into a program like Text Aloud, Natural Reader, or use Narrator or the Text-to-Speech function in your Windows program so that they can read along with the program until they get the words right. They can also have fun discussing what's missing (expression) from the computerised speech that they should add when speaking themselves. Finally, if you use a program like Audacity to let them record their parts and then assemble them later into the play, they can rehearse, re-record the parts they get wrong, and edit the final sound file. If they are recording for a podcast that others can listen to, they may be more motivated to practise until they get their words correct.

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