F. Interactive Read-Aloud Activity: Interactive Read Aloud
as a Teaching Strategy and Route to Inquiry
Suggested Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- overhead of Interactive Read Aloud (Appendix
- overhead of Sparking Inquiry
Through Children’s Literature: The Moccasins (Appendix
- books as selected by participants
- Interactive Read Aloud (Appendix
- Sparking Inquiry Through Children’s Literature
- Explain and discuss with participants the Interactive
Read Aloud as a teaching strategy as outlined below:
aloud to students is of great instructional value throughout
the elementary school years (Calkins 20011,
Huck, Hepler & Hickman 19932;
and Trelease 19953).
We use the term interactive in connection
with reading aloud to children to emphasize the active
learning that goes on. Students do not simply listen
passively and silently; listening is an active process.
Drawing from carefully selected texts and
providing engaging oral reading enables the
teacher to involve students deeply in stories, in getting to
know unforgettable characters, or in thinking about intriguing
new information. Such in-depth explorations automatically lead
to asking questions and help to spark inquiry.
read-aloud strategy is an excellent opportunity for students
to discuss high quality fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Picture books are an outstanding
choice! Certainly teachers will want to read good
chapter books; but they can vary and enrich students’ exposure
to texts by also reading nonfiction books and articles, short
stories, picture books, folktales and poetry.
fluently and expressively communicates
enthusiasm for reading and helps students realize
its value. Invite students to read picture books and poetry
aloud to one another. They can select and practice the stories
and poems and “sign up” to present them.
We use the term interactive to characterize
the teacher and students having a conversation as they
process the text together (Barrentine 1998).4
VIII, Interactive Read Aloud, filename Interactive
Read Aloud.doc, provides some general suggestions for
making interactive read-aloud sessions an enjoyable and engaging
experience. This page may be used as a handout and may also
be made into an overhead. Quickly go over the points so that
everyone has a clear idea of how to do an Interactive
- Using the same groups organized earlier,
have participants compare the standard read aloud with the Interactive
Read Aloud. Do this by having them contribute
to a large double-bubble chart. Appendix XIV, entitled Read
Aloud as Compared to Interactive Read Aloud, filename
Double Bubble.doc is an example of such a chart completed
by participants in a pilot workshop.
- Read aloud The Moccasins, by
Earl Einarson, modeling the Interactive Read Aloud process.
It works well to make overheads of the pictures in this book
to use during reading aloud, as the story is short and it
has small pictures. Briefly discuss some of the possibilities
offered by the book. What links/entry points would you use
in this story?
- Put up the sample overhead found in Appendix
Inquiry Through Children’s Literature: The Moccasins, filename Sparking
Inquiry Moccasins.doc, which shows
the links and possibilities found by one teacher.
- In groups,
have participants select any promising book to read aloud.
One participant should read the book to the group. As
a group or individually, participants should develop a table
of various categories and record specific links and possibilities.
Appendix XVI, entitled Sparking Inquiry Through Children’s
Literature, filename Sparking Inquiry.doc, provides
a blank handout for this activity. After completion, have
participants share some of their ideas and discoveries
with others at their tables or with the whole group.
Lucy. The Art of Teaching Reading. New York:
Susan, Hepler, Janet, Hickman, Barbara Z., Children's
Literature in the Elementary School. Orlando:
Harcourt Brace, 1993.
Jim. The Read-Aloud Handbook. 4th ed. New York:
from: Fountas, Irene C. and Gay Su Pinnell, Guiding
Readers and Writers, Heinemann, 2001.