Picture Book Dramas

To begin this exercise, divide the class into however many groups so that each group has at least 3-4 members and assign each group a drama related activity/ exercise such as: tableau sequence, reader’s theater, poetry representation, or narrative representation. Next, assign each group a children’s book. Allow time for everyone to read their books amongst their groups. Then, have each group incorporate their book’s text into their activity/ exercise:

Tableau Sequence:

Have students create and perform a sequence of silent tableaus to portray the narrative of their story.

Reader’s Theatre:

Have students perform their story using dramatic vocalizations. Memorization is not required. Students will vocally tell their story while using small gestures and maybe simple props.

Poetic Representation:

Have students create and perform a poem using the text from their story.

Narrative Skit:

Have students act out the story as one student narrates.




  • Gives a literary understanding of their book
  • Teaches physical/visual representations
  • Encourages/ teaches group work and the combining of ideas to create a well thought through final project.
  • Influences reading skills
  • Bringing text to life
  • encourages creativity
  • teamwork


  • Time
  • Space
  • Students may not understand their activities/ exercises


  • Can be used to enhance student’s understanding of children’s books.
  • Can teach students how to present a narrative in a different way with or without loosing the narratives main themes.
  • Students will need to be creative and work together.
  • Students can understand the role of the narrative
  • Is great for both auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners
  • Strengthening students familiarity with the literary element
  • Understanding poetry/ rhymes


  • Can be used in an English class or literature class to teach students about children’s books.
  • Could be incorporated into any subject area depending on the chosen literary source.
  • Can be used to learn script writing.
  • Could be used to teach students the importance of both illustrations and text in picture books.
  • Provide students with texts that don’t have illustrations so that they have to further their creativity when depicting the narrative (when illustrations are included, students may copy those pictures rather than create their own scenes).
  • Poetry Slam
  • (For Narrative Skit) students can perform the actions while the teacher reads the story.


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