Indiana Reading Journal Volume 44 Issue 1 - Page 56


2.RN.3.3: Identify what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe in the text.

2.RN.4.1: Describe how an author uses facts to support specific points in a text.

2.RN.4.2: Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

How to Read Aloud Can Assist in Instruction

This is why you must have preread and have carefully planned your read aloud. You will need to know when to stop and reflect in the appropriate parts of the story to meet this goal.

Model! Model! Model!

The teacher thinking aloud about the specific points in natural read aloud setting makes this one a cinch, if you know the material.

Teacher would lead discussion for students to make text-to-text connections. Questioning and phrasing is important.

Comments, examples or notes

Table 2: Second Grade Lesson Plan for Read-Aloud (Continued)

As you look at each table, notice how these second grade Indiana standards for both fiction and nonfiction align with the kinds of questioning, follow-up, modeling, thinking aloud, or inflection you do as you read. The list is almost all-encompassing isn’t it? I challenge you to try this with any grade level’s nonfiction and fiction reading standards on the IDOE website. My point should be quite obvious…go ahead; just think about a recent encounter with a piece of literature you have used with students. If you are properly leading and monitoring students’ thinking during read aloud, you can feel confident that as you are instructing by reading aloud. You are addressing state standards!

Layne tells us many times that read aloud is instruction (p.35-38), and then proves it with data and research (throughout chapters 1 and 2). In some ways, I connected Layne’s thoughts to The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease (2006). Trelease’s book makes assertions about how read-aloud improves attention span (p. 35). I believe most teachers would resolve to read aloud just for the improvement of that skill alone, don’t you? But attention span developing alone is not enough. Layne suggests we remember to “Listen Up”.

Listen Up

Layne points out the benefits of read-aloud for not only for the development of attention span, but the concept of “listening up.” Lane reports that the studies of Stich and James’ prove the listening level of a student is usually higher (at least two levels) than their silent reading comprehension level. (pp.54-56). This fact supports the idea that we can be skillfully teaching our below-level readers at a point that their listening comprehension level can handle, thus scaffolding their material and still address the needs of the students that are ready to move on in their acquisition of new material.

This means we can also be teaching academic standards related to grammar, vocabulary, and syntax at a much higher level than we could by expecting to develop it only at the child’s instructional reading level. And let’s not forget to think that students will be gaining all the benefits that read-aloud has to offer, in a manner that surpasses worksheet practice any time. After all, as author and educator Diane M. Barone reminds in her book, Children’s Literature in the Classroom (2011),