Teaching your whole group reading lesson with interactive read alouds is not complicated! I promise!
I swear by using this effective (and easy to plan) teaching method for nearly all of my daily whole group reading lessons. Below is my list of my suggested MUST-DO’s that will make your lessons as powerful and effective as can be.
(pssst… if you’d like to try out some ready-to-go interactive read aloud lessons, scroll to the end of this post to snag three free lessons!)
The MUST-DO’s I suggest below are a perfect complement to these other posts I’ve written about teaching with this powerful teaching method:
- Interactive Read Aloud in 6 Easy Steps
- How to Use an Interactive Read Aloud for ANY Reading Skill or Strategy
- Ten Rules for an Effective Interactive Read Aloud
The takeaway I want for you is that teaching with an interactive read aloud is NOT COMPLICATED.
You are teaching a reading skill or strategy while reading a mentor text from your classroom or school library. You plan the lesson ahead of time by marking areas in the text where you want to model yourself using the skill or strategy as well as areas where you want to insert some interactive elements (i.e. turn and talk, sign language, stop and jot) that allow the students practice using the skill or strategy.
The following MUST-DO’s are the result of research, professional development, and my own trial and error in my classroom.
First, keep it short. A concise lesson that does not drag on for too long is the best for keeping all students engaged throughout.
This is give or take. Some lessons might be only 7 minutes. Some might be 12. But once you are getting around longer than 15 minutes, research tells us that students might start tuning out. Even if their faces are all looking at you, don’t be fooled! They might be starting to zone out and think about what they want to do at recess.
Next, you shouldn’t stop more than 3-5 times during your read aloud. Don’t stop too often or you will stifle the story so much that it is hard to follow. This includes your interactive elements such as “turn and talk” within this 3-5 stop range.
Keep all of these stops focused on one single skill or strategy.
One text. One lesson. One purpose.
So if you are teaching an interactive read aloud lesson on inferring character traits, every part of the lesson is focused on inferring character traits. You aren’t bringing in other skills or strategies to the lesson.
This one is hard.
I KNOW this is hard.
But it really is totally okay to read only part of a book for your lesson. If needed, you can just read a short section of text to illustrate and practice the strategy. THEN, you can pick up the book later in the day or the next day and you continue it as a regular read aloud. Just keep the LESSON part short and concise.
Next, don’t be afraid to use the same book for more that one lesson.
When you read a familiar story with a new focus, your students may see it with fresh eyes. That’s a good thing!
So, what do you think about teaching with interactive read alouds?
You can totally do it, right?
You’ve got the skills you need to write out your own lessons, but if you prefer to use the interactive read aloud lessons I’ve already written and tested in my own classroom, you can find them here.
Want to try some lessons before buying?
If you are teaching reading in grades 2-4, then I can make it really easy for you to try out this super simple teaching method…
I’m happy to give you three of my print-and-go interactive read alouds just by entering your email address below! Yay!