First, we read through at a low voice level - reading to themselves. Then, they can read through at a voice level 1 or 2 (whisper read). After that they get together with the rest of their castmates and actually begin reading through the play together; picking parts and adding voice and emotion to the words.
You may notice that the way we practice the plays mimics the close reading strategy...that was done on purpose! The students get to act out the history they are learning and also practice their reading skills- a win/win for everyone!
Depending on time and the group we will continue to act out the plays and they perform them at the end of the class period! Some groups are more willing to perform than others!