Teachers have to get through so many standards each year. So, they find creative ways to combine what students have to learn with something they love. For instance, they have tons of literary standards to learn. Since all the different terms, such as main idea and theme, can seem overwhelming, teachers create fun lessons. For instance, interactive read alouds allow students to work on the standards while listening to an amazing story! Since figuring out what questions to ask during an IRA can be difficult, this guide is here to help!
I’m sharing all these books on video as well! Check out the What Questions Do I Ask? episode on my YouTube channel.
Many times, teachers love the idea of an interactive read aloud. There is something magical about combining a book with standards students need to know. However, there are challenges with planning an interactive read aloud. For instance, teachers often wonder what questions to ask and when to ask them. Or, they forgot to stop and ask the questions at the planned times. Trust me when I say you are not the only one with these worries! I’ve been there before, too. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid these issues when figuring out what questions to ask during an IRA.
Uh Oh… I Forgot to Stop!
We’ve all been in these situations before. No matter how well we map out a unit, we all get focused on the reading and forget to stop. However, figuring out what questions to ask during an IRA is essential! Teachers need to stop and address the material throughout. Otherwise, this is not an interactive read aloud. So, here are a few tips to avoid forgetting to stop and think aloud with students.
Honestly, this aspect is crucial! Now, it can be easy to grab a book off the shelf, think about what to teach, and jump right into it. However, when teachers do not spend time preparing for the story, it is easy to forget what questions to ask during an IRA. Often, this causes us to get to the end and realize students just went through a regular read aloud. So, make sure to read the story ahead of time and plan out the questions to ask.
I like to write questions on a sticky note and stick them right on the page where I will ask that question. Personally, I love the bright-colored sticky notes because they stand out so well. This helps ensure I do not skip a question or miss a sticky note. Thankfully, this means there are no missed opportunities for students to work on a skill or strategy.
Questions over… Questions!
The next struggle that teachers are always coming to me with is when do I ask the questions? Additionally, I am often asked how many questions should I be asking? However, neither question has a clear and quick answer. Ultimately, planning ahead and thinking about the objective of the lesson is critical. I like to think about where natural stopping points are and plan questions in those spots. Just be sure not to ask too many questions. This can cause students to lose focus and miss essential story details. So, you’re forming a balance of having an interactive story, not too interactive.
Another common question is, what questions do I ask during an interactive read aloud? Now, there isn’t a set list of questions because it depends on what you’re teaching. It is essential to think about the objective of the read aloud lesson and what you want students to learn. So, start with the reading strategies and go from there.
As a helpful guide, check out FREE Read Aloud Questions.
When deciding what questions to ask during an IRA, getting students to think deeper is essential. We want to encourage more thorough answers to help them dig into the text. So by asking why, what made you think that, or tell me more, we’re getting students to expand their thinking. This ensures they connect and fully grasp the concepts we teach.
While deciding what questions to ask during an IRA may be challenging initially, it will get easier with each IRA! Best of all, students will be engaged and focused every minute of the lesson.
If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will receive FREE Read Aloud Questions for blog exclusive subscribers!
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If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will also receive a FREE Book List for Social Emotional Learning for blog exclusive subscribers!
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Be sure to save this pin to your favorite read alouds board on Pinterest! You’ll be able to come back to this lesson plan when you are ready to read it aloud with your students.