What is an Interactive Read Aloud?
An interactive read aloud occurs when an educator or parent purposefully prepares for an oral reading. During the read aloud, the educator or parent will ask surface-level and deep-thinking questions, read with enthusiasm, and create spaces for conversation. Read aloud books provide children with an engaging and interactive experience. This form of reading aloud allows children to experience rich interesting texts, builds shared literary knowledge, expands vocabulary, promotes connection making, and encourages discourse.
One must note that an interactive read aloud is different from the conventional read aloud of reading to children as they sit idly. Rather, an interactive reading is well planned and allows students to “actively process the language, ideas, and meaning of the text.” The goal of a successful interactive read aloud is to be intentional, engaging, and foster deep thinking skills.
Check out these 3 tips for a successful interactive read aloud for the classroom and the home:
1. Find A Great Book
When choosing the perfect book for your child or classroom look for engaging texts. It is important to consider the interests of the child as well as how the text can support deep thinking. The goal here is to choose texts that are relatable, culturally responsive, teach lessons, and contain fun illustrations. Ultimately, an engaging read-aloud will grab the attention of your child!
2. Review the Book in Advance
When performing an interactive reading in the classroom or the home it is imperative to review the text in advance. An interactive read-aloud is intentional and purposeful and thus cannot be the nearest book you happened to pick up. Before reading the text aloud, read the text independently, jot down your questions, and mark where you plan to stop and invite students to reflect on the text. While this step may seem tedious, it is not one to overlook!
3. Prepare a Variety of Questions
When conducting an interactive read aloud, be sure to provide a plethora of questions. It is important to provide both surface-level and deep-thinking questions to accommodate all students. Surface-level questions can also keep students on track as they remember to pause, reflect on the reading, and look at the illustrations for support. Deep thinking questions are open-ended as they allow students to provide multiple perspectives while making unique connections to the text.
4. Attend a Read Aloud
For extra support, attend an interactive read aloud! Tip-Top Brain often offers interactive read aloud sessions throughout the school year for students in K-2, so be sure to join our newsletter or follow us on social media for all of our latest program offerings and events! Most recently, students had a blast participating in the interactive reading of “The Gingerbread Man” during our annual holiday book fair. Students enjoyed reading, listening, and participating in a group discussion. Many of our students love both pleasure reading and interactive readings as we at Tip-Top Brain have provided them with strong tools for reading explorations. You can never go wrong with attending an interactive read-aloud and learning from educators first-hand!
Check out these fantastic read aloud books for children in the kindergarten to second grade range. Come on down to Tip-Top Brain to support local businesses and share our passion for lifelong reading!
Terrific Read Aloud Books for Children (K-2)
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- How to Catch a Unicorn by Adam Wallace
- How to Catch a Dinosaur by Adam Wallace
- How to Catch a Mermaid by Adam Wallace
- We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
- Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
- The Dot by Peter H Reynolds
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
- The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Overall, interactive read alouds are a wonderful strategy to promote connection making, deep thinking skills, comprehension, modeling fluency, engaging in discourse, expanding knowledge, and building on vocabulary. Interactive read alouds are perfect for large groups such as the classroom, or even one on one in the home. How will you incorporate interactive read alouds in your home?