The purpose of this strategy is to provide students with a shared experience around a text that is relevant to the current science content about which they are learning. Read-aloud is often used as a way to launch a new unit of study, but it may be utilized at any point in the instructional sequence of a unit. The teacher selects the text based on relevant content and the quality of the writing. Generally the teacher either shows the illustrations and/or text to students on a document camera or smart board (when students can view the text this is referred to as “shared reading”). The read-aloud is “interactive” because students do not just listen to the teacher read. They engage in conversation with one another (and possibly brief, informal written responses). The teacher facilitates peer-to-peer talk through “Think Pair Shares” that are strategically planned in advance (Where will the teacher pause to allow students to talk? To “stop and jot”? What will the prompt be?) Teacher prompts are generally open-ended, designed in a way to encourage students to make meaning from the text. The teacher may also use “think aloud” to model his/her own thinking process in response to the text. Additionally, the teacher may use the interactive read-aloud to demonstrate and/or ask students to utilize particular literacy strategies and/or skills(e.g., visualizing, sketching, paraphrasing, summarizing).
Resources for Interactive Read-Alouds
These resources were developed with the generous support of The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation.