Many people see interactive read alouds as just a free for all. You pick a book off the shelf at random, open it up, and read to your students for 10-15 minutes; however, it is SOOOOOOO much more than that. Or should be at least. Every moment you have with your students is VITAL. If you aren’t explicitly teaching them thought out and planned skills throughout your read alouds, you’re doing them a disservice and it’s definitely time for a read aloud revival. Which leads me to the interactive read aloud with accountable talk…
What Is An Interactive Read Aloud?
Read Aloud Benefits
- You get a chance to share your favorite stories and some really fun read aloud books
- You will encourage a life-long love of reading
- You will develop higher level thinking skills within your students
- You will build upon your classroom community
- You will develop stronger vocabulary
Interactive Read Aloud Strategies
- Consider the unit, theme, skill, or lesson that you are currently teaching. Do you have a book that would tie into one of these flawlessly?
- Read through the text, planning out places that you can develop higher level thinking skills and increase discussion.
- Write down the words you will say word for word on a sticky note and place it on each page you will think aloud or have your students interact. (More about this below, with scripted examples).
- Have your students paired (before you begin read alouds) with a turn and talk partner. This is essential in keeping your students engaged and keeping them on task. I’ve been in classrooms where students don’t have specific partners and it’s a mess! Students turn to whoever and it takes quite awhile to find a partner, plus someone always gets left out.
- Be sure to include both Fiction and Non Fiction stories during your read aloud time. Sometimes I will couple these together in the same week. For example, I may use the Fiction read aloud book “Tacky the Penguin” one day and then a Nonfiction read aloud that teaches all about penguins the next.
What Can Be Taught In An Interactive Read Aloud With Accountable Talk?
Various skills like predicting, envisioning, monitoring for meaning, inferring and so much more, can be taught within a read aloud. First, you need to think of a skill that you want your students to master. Then, find a book that has enough stopping points where you AND your students can model thinking aloud with the skill. I try to find 2 places where I can model and 1 or 2 places where the students can turn and talk, using the skill. You can grab a copy of my scripted sentence stems for your think aloud/model and your students active engagement HERE. These read aloud stems will help you explicitly teach whichever skill you have in mind.
Sentence Stems in Interactive Read Alouds
|Interactive read aloud sentence stems|
|Clip these interactive read aloud sentence stems on a ring for easy storage and planning!|
Sticky Note Organization
I also got even smarter one day and started labeling the page numbers to place them on– It was a complete game changer for me. Every few weeks when I’m changing accountable talk skills, I choose the books that I want to read and pull out the already completed sticky notes to place on the pages that it says. Hellooooooo time saver!!!