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Interactive Read-Aloud & Shared Reading Janice Such Grade 5 Read, Read, Read! Fountas and Pinnell on Reading

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Interactive Read-Aloud& Shared Reading

Janice Such

Grade 5

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Fountas and Pinnell on Reading

  • “Reading to children is the most effectiveliteracy demonstration you can provide. As you read aloud, you demonstrate how to think and act like a reader; you also provide insights into writing because you are sharing a coherent, meaningful piece of written language that an author has constructed…”

    --Matching Books to Readers, page 9

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The Continuum of Literacy Learningfor Grades 3-8

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Structure of Continuum

  • Reader Thinking --Within--Beyond--About a Text

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Continuum of Literacy Learning Framework

  • Provides information arranged by grade.

  • Describes characteristics of texts that are helpful in choosing read aloud texts.

  • Includes curriculum goals to notice and support as students “think within, beyond, and about the text.”

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Interactive Read-Aloud

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What is Interactive Read-Aloud?

  • According to Fountas and Pinnell, Interactive Read-Aloud is “A teaching context in which students are actively listening and responding to an oral reading of a text.”

  • The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades 3-8. A Guide to Teaching,

  • page 247.

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Student Involvement during Interactive Read-Aloud

  • Answer Questions

  • Think Critically

  • Make Predictions

  • Discuss Interpretations

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Interactive Read-Aloud and Vocabulary

  • Interactive Read-Alouds and Literature Discussions help students to expand vocabulary because children hear words that are not ordinarily used.

  • Since the teacher says the words the length, number of syllables, inflectional endings, etc. are not major factors in choosing a text.

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Within the Text

  • Students do not have to decode.

  • Children hear fluent phrasing.

  • Students can self-monitor their understanding.

  • Children can remember information in summary form.

  • Children can adjust their thinking to understand different fiction and nonfiction genres.

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Beyond the Text

The teacher can

  • Help children to make predictions and connections to previous knowledge and their own lives.

  • Support student thinking beyond the literal meaning.

  • Demonstrate how to think beyond the text.

  • Stop at selected intervals to discuss text elements that expand thinking.

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About the Text

The teacher can direct students’ attention to:

  • Author’s craft

  • Use of language

  • Characterization

  • Organization

  • Text Structure

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Special Benefits for ELL Students

For ELLs, Interactive Read-Alouds provide

  • Opportunities to hear the syntax and vocabulary of the language in text.

  • Modeling and engagement in oral language opportunities.

  • Exposure to meaningful, high-quality texts.

  • Scaffolding through the literacy process for students.

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A Clarification

What is the difference between informational genres and nonfiction?

According to Fountas and Pinnell,

“Informational genres are “a category of texts in which the purpose is to inform or give facts about a topic. Nonfiction feature articles and essays are examples of informational text” (page 247).

Nonfiction is “a text based on fact”

(page 248).

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Provides interesting subject matter

Inspires curiosity in students

Offers interesting topics, different formats, and attractive illustrations

Helps children to learn about linguistic features that differ from fiction

Supports comprehension

Promotes interaction with the text as readers seek meaning

Why Use Informational Text for Read-Aloud?

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Teachers may want to read from beginning to end.


The teacher may begin at an appropriate section.

Students may use the index to find a topic that interests them.

Choose a Starting Point

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Teach StudentsHow to Read Nonfiction

  • When students understand how to read nonfiction and use text features, they are better able to comprehend it.

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Use Read-Aloud Logs

  • Keep a log of Read-Alouds shared with the class.

  • List the date, author, title, and type of book.

  • Include subcategories for informational books and fiction.

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Resources from our U-46 website

Resources from Our U-46 Website

  • Informational Text

  • Expository Text Structures and Signal Words

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Balance Your Read-Alouds



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Include Content Area Read-Alouds

  • Teachers may select read-alouds based on their science, math, and social studies curricula.

  • Informational texts have these benefits:

    --boost children’s knowledge

    --motivate students

    --ignite children’s curiosity

    --encourage research and inquiry

    --build background for fiction reading

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Nonfiction Designs and Features

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Nontraditional Book Designs

  • Information may be arranged across the page in ways that the students are not used to seeing.

  • Topics may be accompanied by different sizes of photographs along with captionsand lists of facts.

  • Teach students explicitly about how to interpret these features.

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Reading Aloud Books with Nontraditional Designs

  • Teachers should seat children so that they can see the details of the text.

  • Teachers may choose to use big books or an overhead projector or LCD projector that lets them zoom in and out on a targeted book feature.

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Call Attention to Nonfiction Text Features

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Nonfiction Text Features

  • Display blown-up examples of important text features.

  • Teach the importance of each text feature.

  • Call student attention to important text features during read-alouds and guided reading groups.

  • Send students on a scavenger hunt to locate different text features.

  • Provide students with the opportunity to work with nonfiction. For ideas, see

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Turn and Talk

Please share your tips and ideas about Interactive Read-Aloud.

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Types of Performance Reading

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Thinking Within the Text for Shared Reading

  • The goal is to produce a fluent, expressive oral reading of a text.

  • Independently, readers must solve the words and interpret information that they will reflect in their oral reading.

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Thinking Beyond the Textfor Shared Reading

  • Students bring theirbackground knowledge to shared reading.

  • They create connections with the text and make inferences.

  • To take on the role of a character, they have to understand how the character feels and acts.

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Thinking About the Text for Shared Reading

Through Shared Reading, students learn to understand the writer’s craft:

  • Characterization

  • Organization

  • Structure

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Readers Theatre

  • Students enact a text.

  • Students do not usually memorize lines.

  • Props and costumes are optional.

  • Emphasis is on how each actor or actress interprets a role vocally.

    Almost any story can be transformed into a Readers Theatre script. For ideas, check

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Choral Reading

  • A group or several members read a text together.

  • The text may appear on a chart or projector or in individual student books.

  • Group members try to interpret the text with their voices.

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Turn and Talk

Please share your tips and ideas about Shared & Performance Reading.

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Get Ready to Perform!

Now Featuring--

A Readers Theatre Script based on

A Picture Book ofJesse Owens.

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--David A. Adler Biography

--David Adler Interview Transcript

--The Olympics in Photos

--Youth Olympics

--U.S. Olympics

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Interactive Internet Activities




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Sources for Building Background

  • National Geographic Kids

  • Teacher Scholastic

  • United Streaming

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Writing AboutReading Continuum

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Student Writing

  • “Through writing—and drawing as well—readers can express and expand their thinking and improve their ability to reflect on a text.”

    --The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades 3-8, p. 19.

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Grade 5 Writing About Reading

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United Streaming Writing Prompts

  • Be sure to investigate

    to find ready made prompts for your grade level.

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Making Meaning Writing Resources

  • Remember that there are writing prompts for selected Grade 5 Making Meaning titles on the U-46 Curriculum Roadmap site at

Check It Out!

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Wrap It Up!Comments?Questions?

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  • Fountas, Irene and Pinnell, Gay Su. Matching Books to Readers. Portsmouth, NH: 1999.

  • Fountas, Irene and Pinnell, Gay Su: The Continuum of Literacy Learning, Grades 3-8. A Guide to Teaching. Portsmouth, NH: 2007.

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Mentor Text

  • A Picture Book of Jesse Owens by David A. Adler.