Reader's theater is the perfect tool to add to your upper grade ELA class for so many reasons-it is interactive and highly engaging, enhances student fluency, targets and enriches reading comprehension, while strengthening vocabulary.
Common Core is all about evidence! Standard One for all grades is all about showing the evidence! This is a great Anchor Chart for Textual Evidence Sentence Starters- I would modify the language required for upper elementary and middle school students.
Students Sitting Around Too Much? Try Chat Stations
Chat Stations can also dramatically improve whole-class discussions. Because students have fully explored each issue in the less-threatening Chat Station setting, they will be better prepared to participate in a larger class discussion next.