Spotlight on Literacy

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Prop Ideas

Props, simple masks and costumes are a great way to extend the Readers Theater experience.  We suggest that you build a box of costume props, hats and masks to keep at the ready whenever the dramatic mood comes out in your classroom.  Props can be collected from parents and discount stores. Masks can be simple or elaborate and resources to create masks are found everywhere—from crafts stores to kitchen cabinets.


Be sure to shop for items for your costume box right after holidays. You will find treasures in the clearance aisle—angel halos and wings after Christmas, crowns, hats, boas and beads after New Year’s, and bunnies, baskets, eggs and chicks after Easter. Michaels, Target “Dollar Spot,” Walmart and the 99 Cent Store hold a bonanza of treasures for holiday items that can be used and re-purposed for your dramatic creations.


One of our best teachers, Marci Ruiz from Palm Avenue Elementary School in San Bernardino, California has an amazing Costume and Goodie Box at the ready for every occasion. She keeps her treasures in a plastic tub.


Marci’s recommendations for your “Go To Box”—


  • Bandannas of many colors (you can pin the name of the character on the bandanna and tie it around their necks—cowboy style)
  • Big box of plastic fruit (check Goodwill Stores—somebody is always donating plastic fruit)
  • Feather boas –works great for bird costumes
  • Beads (Mardi Gras beads are great for name tags of characters)
  • Hats of all kinds
  • Baskets
  • Plastic eggs
  • Masks
  • Hula Hoops—gluing tissue paper on the hoops can turn them into frames or flaming hoops of fire


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