Interactive Read Alouds (IRA) Fact Sheet
Definition- The teacher reads a story aloud and engages the students in thinking and discussing a text before, during and after the reading.
Purpose- IRA’s help children deepen their understanding of a text and develops their ability to talk about a text in a meaningful and purposeful way.
Benefits- Demonstrates reading for a purpose; builds background knowledge to enhance understanding of new concepts; provides a proficient/competent demonstration of phrased, fluent reading with expression; develops a sense of story; develops a knowledge of text structure; exposes children to expanded vocabulary, language structure and dialects; supports common links among texts; promotes oral language development; provides opportunities to learn characteristics of various genres; involves children in reading for enjoyment.
Characteristics- Careful and thoughtful text selection and planning; A purpose or learning objective is established, articulated and written throughout the read aloud (strategy focus); Active thinking about a text is modeled by the teacher; students are actively and cognitively engaged in the read aloud experience and not just passive listeners; questions are posed before, during and after reading (answerable and unanswerable); Vocabulary is developed and highlighted; Students interact with each other and the teacher.