Honestly, there is so much pressure on teachers when picking a book for an interactive read aloud! This one book needs to be one that all students will enjoy. However, all students have different backgrounds and interests. While some enjoy football and Legos, others prefer dancing and making crafts. Honestly, this puts a ton of pressure on teachers. They want all students to be engaged and active in learning. Thankfully, there are helpful tips when figuring out how to choose books for an IRA!
I’m sharing all these books on video as well! Check out the How Do I Pick a Book? episode on my YouTube channel.
How is an IRA different from a read aloud?
While a read aloud and interactive read aloud may sound alike, they are very different. A read aloud is a book teachers pull off their shelves and just read to students. It is a wonderful experience of just enjoying a story. After reading, there is usually some type of discussion to help build community and empathy. Honestly, it is wonderful to sit together and read for pure enjoyment. This is a crucial way to show students how there are books on so many topics.
While reading alouds are amazing, teachers have to teach so many standards. This is why an interactive read aloud is perfect! Students still get to listen to a fantastic story. However, there are intentional activities well planned out. These activities focus on specific skills and strategies students need to know. So, interactive read alouds still have a great story, but they include fantastic learning opportunities!
Selecting the Right Books
Since an interactive read aloud involves educationally-rich activities, figuring out how to choose books for an IRA is tough! Thankfully, there are helpful strategies to follow.
Before selecting a story, think of the context for learning. An IRA provides an opportunity to teach and model reading skills and strategies that you are teaching students. It is vital to remember activities in an IRA are well-planned. So, think of the strategies, skills, and vocabulary you want to address beforehand.
Additionally, it is essential to consider the different questions to ask during an interactive read aloud. This is a great aspect when planning how to choose books for an IRA. Again, planning out these questions in advance is crucial so that students get the most out of the lesson. This also ensures teachers get the most out of the time spent on the story.
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Activities During an Interactive Read Aloud
Whenever reading an interactive read aloud, teachers utilize the story for learning experiences. So, they occasionally pause for discussion. This is a great way to build text connections. Additionally, teachers pause for teaching opportunities, such as figurative language. This also leads to great conversations with students about essential Social-Emotional Skills. Students can then apply these strategies to their own lives. Ultimately, interactive read alouds allow teachers to utilize interactive engagement strategies!
Benefits of an Interactive Read Aloud
While an interactive read aloud takes a considerable amount of planning, it has incredible benefits. As with any lesson, teachers must consider which skills and strategies to teach. Thankfully, there are so many possibilities during this activity to support the curriculum. Essentially, you are meeting your standards during highly-engaging lessons. Importantly, IRAs also build reading comprehension. Students discuss and complete different activities on the story, which allows them to process all the details.
Honestly, interactive read alouds share a fantastic story with students while working on many skills. From comprehension to reading fluently, students show so much improvement! Additionally, they build engagement and get students interacting with the text, the teacher, and their peers. Thankfully, this list will help when working on how to choose books for an IRA! Best of all, students will love these lessons!
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Grab this Free Read Aloud
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!
Save these tips!
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 hold your interactive read aloud with your students.