Interactive Read Alouds (IRA) are easily one of my favorite pieces to my literacy block in my first grade classroom!

Before I begin…

Watch this example!

From the IRA website, Linda Hoyt quotes, “When read-alouds are understood as powerful tools for teaching literary elements, building analytical ability, and addressing the standards, they can bring both joy and accelerated learning into the lives of our students.”

Interactive read alouds are a way that a teacher can make the most of read aloud time by using creative ways to use children’s literature to teach any grade level a specific standard along with building fluency and comprehension. Strategies include combining engaging guided conversations with reflective thinking for all learners at all skill levels. These lessons include strategic listening, speaking, reading and writing about text being read and allows all students to participate in the activities because the story is being read to them!

After I learned about this type of read aloud, I realized how valuable this time can be! Before I knew how to guide a successful IRA, I was using read alouds more as “time fillers” or just an extra daily activity. Now, I take advantage of each story I read by introducing new vocabulary, engaging students in conversations, and reflecting on specific comprehension strategies for all students involved! I also used to just pick a book up and start reading. The key component of an IRA is being INTENTIONAL. The teacher should read the story ahead of time to mark certain words to point out, places to pose questions and turn and talks along with any other interactive activities for students to engage in. I use sticky notes to note where I will be stopping within the story! This makes the IRA intentional and engaging!

I hope you try an IRA soon if you haven’t already!

Check out this link for more info!


4 thoughts on “IRA

  1. How FUN! I loved the example. Living in the “big kid” world, it’s nice to hear from the “other end.” It is a great reminder to take time to make some stories intentional. In our busy day, its a great way to hit two birds with one stone! Also a great way to show students how expression and to enjoy the wonderful world of books! 🙂


  2. I love IRAs! We use them a lot in our school. I think my favorite part is the open discussions that we have when we read a book. My first and second graders love being read to and they have great ideas when we talk about our reading. Besides the great discussions, I love helping them learn the new vocabulary that comes with a book. It’s even better when they start using those vocabulary words in their speaking or writing! Thanks for the link!


  3. Taylor,

    Like Heather, I also LOVE using interactive read alouds in the classroom! It is so important to model what good readers do and think while they read. Thanks for sharing the video! I really liked how the teacher would model what she is thinking by saying “I am thinking…”. Even if she was thinking of a question, she didn’t always rely on the students’ thoughts to respond, she answered her own question by using clues from the text and/or pictures. This is SO important. When you model the habits good readers make, pretty soon the students will apply this to their independent reading!

    Thanks for sharing! What are some of your favorite IRAs you use in your classroom?


  4. Hi Taylor,
    What a great video you included for IRA’s!! I did several of these when I student taught, but I was excited to see them taken to a new level. While I always included a lot of thinking, discussions, etc., it never occurred to me to get the kids up and moving around. When the students acted out the vocabulary word “haul” I thought “WOW!!” I can’t wait to do that!!! Kids always need more time to interact with their learning, especially physically, so I am so thrilled to add this kind of activity in the next time I do an interactive read aloud!
    Thanks for the great post!


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