How to Use Interactive Read-Alouds to Transform Your Reading Class!

The science is settled when it comes to Interactive Read-Alouds. Not only do classroom teachers recognize that Interactive Read-Alouds are a powerful and engaging teaching tool, but the research indicates that they’re undeniably effective as well. 



Need another reason to use Interactive Read-Alouds? They make lesson planning for your Reading Block time a breeze!



In case you’re a little late to the party, here’s a simple explanation of what an Interactive Read-Aloud is:

Interactive Read-Alouds make the most of read-aloud time by uniting the elements of comprehension, fluency, and standards in reading. They provide an easy way for teachers to purposefully and intentionally model and teach a specific reading skill (or many skills at once). Interactive Read-Alouds provide teachers and students with a format that includes a proven step-by-step routine for both guided conversations and reflective thinking about the chosen text. This format enables students to demonstrate knowledge acquired with strategic listening, discussion, and responding in writing about the text.




Want to improve the effectiveness of your read aloud time? Who doesn’t? Interactive Read-Alouds increase student engagement, increase students' understanding of the text, provide teachers with the opportunity to model comprehension strategies, teach literary concepts, and build vocabulary! They cover every reading skill and standard, starting with activating prior knowledge and extending all the way up to a final response to reading!  BONUS: They also improve the overall class climate by building a sense of camaraderie, teamwork, and interdependence within reading groups! 


The following list of Read-Aloud strategies are a set of ‘tried and true’ teaching tools from my classroom---and many others, that have proven to successfully help teachers plan an engaging, lively, and effective Interactive Read-Aloud lesson!

We can all agree that any lesson that includes kinesthetic elements will be more appealing and engaging to kids, right? With sign language, kids can use simple signs for making a connection with the story as they read (or listen), such as thumbs up or down if they agree or disagree with something that’s stated in the story. Perhaps you can even have them learn an ASL sign for certain vocabulary words within the story—a great way to reinforce and remember a new vocabulary word! Having kids learn and use the sign for a particular vocabulary word (one that’s repeated in the story is best) will automatically make them more engaged in Read-Aloud time. They may need to be reminded to ‘sign’ when you first start this practice, but eventually they will come to love it! 

Incorporating Sign Language into your Interactive Read-Aloud time will accomplish many important goals:


Noticing who’s paying attention to the story and who’s not

Improving student’s careful and strategic listening

Makes learning new vocabulary & reading time more FUN for kids!

Click HERE for a helpful link to search/learn ASL words online! 


Sometimes called THINK-PAIR-SHARE, ‘Turn & Talk’ is one of Kagan’s most useful cooperative learning strategies that’s especially effective for teaching reading. During and after reading, students will have a chance to think of a question that they can ask a partner, that will encourage reflective thinking. (You can use resources that provide question stems for students to make this process flow a little more smoothly.)   


This strategy also helps students to be more interactive and engaged as they read & listen to a story. They may use post-its or their own notebooks to stop and jot down important parts of the story. You can also guide them with a directed list of what to ‘jot about’ at first, such as events in the story or character traits, for example, or let them decide what’s important for them to jot down as they go.
As a busy teacher, when you think about incorporating a new teaching method, it can sometimes feel overwhelming and you may feel as though it’s too complicated to make a change. The best part of Interactive Read-Alouds is that they truly do make life easier for you as a teacher--and make reading comprehension more accessible for your students!

Interactive Read-Alouds take the familiar steps of reading instruction that we already know as ‘BEFORE, DURING and AFTER Reading’ and transform them into an easy to use, much more lively (and yes, truly INTERACTIVE!) format for reading instruction! I really hope that you’ll give it a try, you’ll be so glad you did!

Looking for a great way to start (or continue!) using Interactive Read-Alouds in your class? Here’s a phenomenal resource that many teachers have found extremely helpful!

Looking to give Interactive Read Alouds a try in your classroom?  



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Interactive Read-Alouds make the most of read-aloud time by uniting the elements of comprehension, fluency, and standards in reading. They provide an easy way for teachers to purposefully and intentionally model and teach a specific reading skill (or many skills at once). Interactive Read-Alouds provide teachers and students with a format that includes a proven step-by-step routine for both guided conversations and reflective thinking about the chosen text.

Interactive Read-Alouds make the most of read-aloud time by uniting the elements of comprehension, fluency, and standards in reading. They provide an easy way for teachers to purposefully and intentionally model and teach a specific reading skill (or many skills at once). Interactive Read-Alouds provide teachers and students with a format that includes a proven step-by-step routine for both guided conversations and reflective thinking about the chosen text.

Interactive Read-Alouds make the most of read-aloud time by uniting the elements of comprehension, fluency, and standards in reading. They provide an easy way for teachers to purposefully and intentionally model and teach a specific reading skill (or many skills at once). Interactive Read-Alouds provide teachers and students with a format that includes a proven step-by-step routine for both guided conversations and reflective thinking about the chosen text.






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2 comments

  1. This is such an informative post! I love the use of sign language during the lesson- I have never thought of doing that. Thank you for sharing the freebie and all of these amazing ideas that I can easily use in my classroom on Monday!

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