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Using Your Read Aloud to Teach Writing

The read aloud has been getting a lot of attention lately, and rightfully so.

In the time-crunched school day, it would be easy to dismiss the read aloud as unnecessary and unproductive. However, the benefits of reading to your students far outweigh the drawbacks.

A good read aloud can help students improve their reading comprehension, build community, increase their vocabulary, learn speaking and listening skills, develop questioning and inference skills, and expose students to literature that they might not read on their own. All of this in addition to the telling of a good story!

But what about using the read aloud to teach writing?

When students “think like a writer” as they are listening to the read aloud, they learn some new craft moves to add to their own writing toolkits.

Teaching writing during the read aloud is not as difficult as you may think. It just takes some practice and guidance from you, the teacher.

Here are some writing moves to notice and point out when reading aloud:

First lines: Draw attention to how the author hooks the reader with their opening lines. Have students share ways they could do this in their own writing.

Figurative Language: How does metaphor, alliteration, or personification help bring the story to life? How can students do this in their own writing?

Power of Three: Three is a magic number! The mind likes things that come in groups of three. It is comforting and provides completeness. (Th