In case there is a teacher reading this article who does not understand the importance of reading aloud to students (even middle and high school ages!), please know now that it is critical. Students of all ages need to hear excellent reading skills modeled.
Thinking aloud while reading to students teaches them imperative strategies to utilize in their own reading experiences.
Summarizing is an extremely important skill for all children to master. It should not be taught in just one or two lessons. Summarizing is a skill that needs to be re-visited often throughout the school year.
An activity that works extremely well, and can be used over and over is the Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then retelling lesson. Students listen to a read aloud and assist the teacher with filling in an anchor chart to look like the picture included.
This activity can be used every time a read aloud takes place. Every time a teacher reads aloud, some type of reflective activity should take place immediately after. Students must reflect on their learning for it to become meaningful.
When students become experts doing this together as a class, they can then reflect using the chart during silent reading time, center time, or in their journals. Take time to allow some students to share their summaries.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how well even the youngest of students can accomplish writing an excellent summary.
There are numerous activities to follow read alouds with, and I will be following this article very soon with even more ideas. What are some ideas that have worked well in your classroom?
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