At a Glance
LanguageEnglish — US
- Civics & Citizenship
- English & Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Culture & Identity
- Equity & Inclusion
About This Activity
This routine, in which teachers read a chapter from a high-interest text out loud each Friday, fosters empathy, perspective-taking, and active listening, as well as builds community around stories and storytelling. When teachers read aloud to students, it can increase students’ comprehension and reduce anxiety, but teachers don’t always make the time to do so after elementary school.
Steps for Implementation
If possible, arrange the class in a circle and read aloud from the first chapter of a book that you think will interest your students. Decide in advance where you will stop, looking for places that will leave students asking for more. Invite students to just listen or doodle in their journals if that helps them focus. Alternatively, show a video of the author reading from their book. Then ask students to discuss the following questions in pairs, small groups, or as a class: What struck you as interesting or important? What’s worth talking about?
Invite students to sit somewhere comfortable. Then open class by reading aloud from the first chapter of a book. Decide in advance where you will stop, looking for places that will leave students asking for more. As you read, invite students to doodle or write a question or comment in the chat if it helps them connect to the story. Alternatively, play a video of the author reading from their book. Then ask students to think about the following questions and share their responses in the chat or in small breakout groups:
- What struck you as interesting or important?
- What’s worth talking about?
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