Interactive Read Aloud

Repeated Read Aloud, Repeated Interactive Read Aloud

UDL 3.2 UDL 5.3

Interactive Read Aloud is a reading comprehension strategy in which a teacher actively engages students in repeatedly reading a single text, incrementally increasing the rigor of the readings in order to support students in reaching deeper levels of comprehension. Prior to reading a new text, the teacher leads students through a walk-through of the book, pointing out illustrations, exploring visual elements and making predictions in order to build background and heighten engagement. Over the course of the week, the teacher repeatedly reads the book, modeling fluency, emphasizing key details and actively engaging students with carefully crafted questions. With each subsequent read aloud, the focus progresses from engagement and recall to more rigorous interaction with the text (e.g., summarizing, reflection, evaluating content). Interactive Read Aloud actively involves young learners in increasingly sophisticated guided readings, promoting engagement, text comprehension and vocabulary understanding, all of which collectively support students’ emergent literacy development.

Implementation Tips

Choosing Books
Choose a variety of texts to engage diverse interests. Rotate between rich fiction and non-fiction books to target specific outcomes and learning needs (e.g., vividly illustrated picture book for comprehending story elements, non-fiction science book for evaluating cause and effect).
Preparing Students
Build students’ background knowledge and increase engagement by facilitating a picture walk of the text. Use illustrations to encourage students to make predictions, observations and connections prior to reading the text aloud (e.g., “What do you think this story is about?"; "Why do you think that?”).
Focusing on Text Elements
Focus on vocabulary, dialogue and illustrations throughout the reading. Point out elements within the text that promote reflection, engagement and understanding (e.g., pause during the reading to acknowledge a challenging word and ask, “Does anyone know what this word means?”).
Using Open-Ended Questions
Use probing, open-ended questions to focus on comprehension, understanding and reflection. Pause between pages, asking students to recall key details of the text and encouraging thoughtful reflection (e.g., “Why did little bear slam the door shut?”; “I wonder why little bear did that, what do you think?”).
Scaffolding Objectives
Maximize Interactive Read Aloud with clear, measurable objectives. Alternate the focus and increase the rigor of learning objectives with each consecutive read aloud, (e.g., Day 1: Retell key details, Day 2: Define Key Vocabulary, Day 3: Summarize the story).
Monitoring and Adjusting
Utilize frequent checks for student understanding, and pay close attention to student responses. Reteach any skills that were not mastered prior to moving on to more difficult objectives. Adjust the instruction to support objective mastery.
Differentiating Support
Create leveled reading groups to facilitate Interactive Read Aloud targeted at the small groups’ reading levels. Use formal and informal assessments (e.g., DRA, running record, anecdotal notes during guided reading) to group students.
Maintaining Student Interest
Carefully plan each of the repeated read alouds with student engagement in mind. Consider varying the methods in which the story is presented (e.g., audio recordings, guest reader, choral reading).


Whole Group Guided Reading
During literacy circle, a preschool teacher is introducing a new book to students for the first time. To pique students’ interest and increase relevance in the book, the teacher reads the title aloud and prompts students to look at the cover of the book. The teacher says, “Take a look at the picture on the cover of this book. What do you think this book will be about?” As students offer their thoughts, the teacher reinforces participation (e.g., “That is a clever prediction!”). Next, the teacher guides students through a picture walk, encouraging students to focus on the vivid illustrations on each page and share aloud what they notice about the pictures. Following the picture walk, the teacher reads the book aloud, pausing between pages to ask probing questions that encourage reflection (e.g., “Why do you think…?”). The teacher continues to use carefully crafted questions to monitor comprehension, asking students to recall key details and make predictions (e.g., “What do you think will happen next?”). Following the first read aloud of the story, the teacher prompts students to make connections to the text (e.g., “What was your favorite part?”; “Did this book remind you of anything that has happened to you?”) and asks basic comprehension questions (e.g., “Who are the characters in this story?”; “Where is this story happening?”).
Scaffolding Instruction
A kindergarten teacher has noticed that one of the leveled reading groups is struggling to decode words with long vowel sounds. On Monday, during Reader’s Workshop, the teacher calls the reading group over to sit on the rug and says, “This week we are going to be reading the story [[|Bunny Cakes]] by Rosemary Wells.” The teacher guides students through making predictions, then reads the book aloud with expression and follows up with basic comprehension questions (e.g., “What happened at the beginning of this story?”). On Tuesday, the teacher adds, “Today we are going to read the story again, but I am going to stop at places where I see words with long vowel sounds. Does anyone remember some of the long vowel sounds?” The students and teacher collectively review the long vowel sounds. The teacher then says, “While I am reading, I am going to stop when I see words that have long vowel sounds.” On Wednesday and Thursday, the teacher introduces the concept of “magic E” and leads students through identifying and decoding words with both a long vowel sound and a “magic E” at the end. Finally, on Friday, the teacher rereads the story a final time, pausing at each word with a long vowel sound, while the students say the word aloud.

Related Strategies