How can we get our students engaged in high quality books? We want all students to be interacting with the text and participating in group discussion. Here are six different ways interactive read aloud strategies. Determine which ones will work best with your students and the text that you’ve chosen.
Interactive Read Aloud Strategies
The process of making our thinking public, by showing students how to construct meaning, is called a “think aloud.”
Ask kids to watch as you model your thinking and notice what we do as readers. This focuses their attention, gives them the opportunity to participate and increases their engagement. A think aloud shows kids how skillful readers think. It also exemplifies how we activate our background knowledge, ask questions and draw conclusions.
Seeing us model our thinking helps kids understand what they need to do as they read on their own. During an interactive read aloud, demonstrate all aspects of inner thinking or focus on one specific strategy.
Tip: Things to share during a think aloud:
- aspects of your inner conversation as you read – your thoughts, reactions, connections, confusions and questions.
- how you activate and connect background knowledge. Let them know how you merge what you already know with new information you discover as you read.
Turn & Talk
During whole-group instruction, stop every few minutes and ask kids to share their thinking with each other by turning and talking to a peer sitting next to them.
This serves multiple purposes. It allows students to process information, enhance understanding, and maximize engagement.
The turn and talk strategy gives all children (not just the most vocal ones) the chance to participate in the conversation and construct meaning. It gives quieter students a chance to first rehearse their thinking and feel more confident to share it.
Act It Out
Giving students the opportunity to move their body during a read aloud will increase their engagement. Acting out what a character is doing or feeling will help them connect with the story on another level.
Stop & Draw or Stop & Jot
This processing activity gives students the opportunity to respond to questions in writing or pictures. Asking students to think and write about what they are learning promotes retention and comprehension. These quick checks for understanding help students make sense of what they are learning before moving on in the lesson.
Readers can stop and jot/draw about what they…
- picture in their mind
- find interesting
- can connect to
Tip: Have students bring materials to the rug – pencil, notebook or sticky notes, before starting the read aloud.
Hand signals is another type of interactive read aloud strategies that will engage your readers. Students use hand signals to show their understanding of words or concepts during read-alouds. This is a great way to increase their motivation for reading. It also becomes a way to assess the kids’ level of understanding and get them to think about what they know or don’t know.
- give me a thumbs up or thumbs down
- show 1 finger, 2 fingers if…
To save you some time, I have interactive read alouds that are already done for you! Just choose the topic that you are working on in class and you are all set!
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