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Creating Lifelong Readers With Interactive Read Alouds

Interactive read alouds go one step further than simply reading stories to children.  A mentor text is carefully selected and is read aloud to a group of students.  The teacher models how an active reader may read the story.  The teacher demonstrates active reading strategies by stopping, asking questions, and sharing thoughts along the way.  The mentor text may also be used as the example of a focus skill in a mini lesson.    

Interactive read aloud mentor texts…

  • Develops vocabulary 
  • Encourages higher-level thinking 
  • Practices comprehension strategies 
  • Models fluent and expressive reading 
  • Models deeper thinking and discussions 
  • Builds good reading habits 
  • Encourages a love of reading 

Teachers have used sticky notes to remember questions or reading strategies that they would like to focus on for particular pages in the read aloud book. The problem is that sticky notes may not stick to the pages in the mentor text after a few uses.  Go to https://bit.ly/TLBInteractiveReadAlouds and print the free Sticky Note Mat that you may use for all of your read aloud mentor texts.  

  • Print the mat on white paper.  
  • Write the page number and question or reading strategy on each sticky note.
  • Place up to six sticky notes on the mat.
  • Print the sticky note mat on hard cardstock so that you may use it for years to come.  
  • Place the sticky note mat on the pages in the mentor text.  This will show you where to stop and model with your students the focus skill.

Choosing the right read aloud mentor text should be carefully considered once you get to know your students and their needs.  Possible read alouds may…

  • be a book that you love
  • be a book that you think your students will love
  • an award-winning book
  • have a diverse set of characters or settings
  • help students expand their views beyond their own
  • help students reflect on their own lives
  • offer opportunities for deeper thinking and discussions
  • model good reading habits and skills

Not sure of which read aloud mentor text to use in your classroom?  Get a free list of 30 favorite read aloud books at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Read-On-A-Complete-Read-Aloud-Book-List-Thirty-Favorite-Read-Aloud-Books-5802203. The theme of each book is also included in the list so that you may read aloud a book about inclusiveness or overcoming fears.

You may purchase activities and prompts which go with the 30 read aloud books at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Two-Little-Birds/Category/4-Read-On-Read-Aloud-Activities-459317.  The units may be purchased individually, in sets of 10, or all 30 with the All Access Pass.  Each unit contains 10 printable activities that are available in full-page and journal-size versions, 10 digital versions of the activities, a class collaborative project, and a classroom poster with a book quote.  

Want to get even more ideas for your classroom? Click on the links below and read the blog posts from members of The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative's Teacher Talk.

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