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The Importance of Interactive Read Aloud

Reading aloud to students has always been one of my favorite parts of the day. Connecting through books is so powerful. The read-aloud strategy is purposeful you can have a profound impact on your student's learning. Interactive read alouds are an important part of reading workshop and can help introduce important skills for your reading instruction through carefully selected mentor text.

What is an interactive read aloud?

Interactive read-aloud is reading a carefully selected book while asking questions, discussing, and sharing thoughts as you read.  This is an important part of your mini-lessons because it teaches your students to become active readers through the reading workshop. 

While reading mentor text, model how to read as an active reader through an interactive read-aloud.  An interactive read-aloud is a carefully and purposefully selected book read by the teacher.  However while reading, you demonstrate active reading strategies by stopping, thinking, and discussing along the way.  By engaging students in the reading experience, you are helping them develop the skills needed to think deeply about a text.

Why interactive read alouds?

  • 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
  • Fosters a sense of community in the classroom
  • Shares your love of reading

Choosing mentor text

Mentor texts are anchor texts that are used as an example for students.  Students use the mentor text to help impact their own reading.  However, the mentor text is read during a mini-lesson to help students. They will learn about the focus skill.   A mentor text provides students with an example of the new skills and strategies.  Above all, a mentor text can be a short text, a teacher or student example, a picture book, or an excerpt of a longer text. 

  • A book that you love
  • A book you think your students will love
  • Age appropriate for students.
  • Peaks student's interest
  • A high-quality text, award winning illustrations, author, etc.
  • Includes a diverse set of characters and settings
  • Includes issues that are relevant to students
  • Appeals to all students in the class
  • Helps students expand their views beyond their own
  • Helps students reflect on their own lives
  • Offers opportunities for deeper thinking and discussions
  • Encourages higher level thinking
  • Practices comprehension strategies
  • Models fluent and expressive reading
  • Models good reading habits & skills
  • Encourages a love of reading
  • Include a variety of genres Has cross-curricular ties

Creating lifelong readers through reading aloud

“Children need books that are mirrors that allow them to see themselves in their own experiences, windows that they can look through to see other worlds that they can then compare to their own, and sliding glass doors that allow them to enter other worlds.”-Rudine Sims Bishop

First, reading to children is one of the single largest predictors for higher academic achievement.  Students are exposed to a variety of text, vocabulary, writing styles, and more.  Second, reading a book gives students so many opportunities and opens so many discussions.  YOU are giving them these experiences by opening a book and reading.  Lastly, most importantly, you're instilling a love for listening, learning, and reading. As a result, reading will stay with them well beyond their time in your classroom.

Lastly, you can grab a free guide to interactive read-aloud. In conclusion, it has templates for editable sticky notes to use as you read!

Want to read more about reading aloud?

Check out these read-aloud posts.

Check out these reading workshop posts.

You can shop more reading resources here:

Happy Reading!

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