Adding Language Skills to your Read Aloud

It can be really hard to fit everything in to our ELA instruction.  Often, it’s language and grammar that gets left out, but these are important skills that our students need in order to become truly literate.   One way to fit these sills in is to work them into our read aloud time.

Here are some quick ways to add some language and grammar to your read aloud:

When students all have a copy of the text:
-look at verb tenses in a paragraph or across a story line
-ask: what does this possessive mean? (and have students look at how it’s spelled)
-point out singular and plural nouns and look at their spellings
-highlight all of the conjunctions
-point out various parts of speech
-look at how the author uses capitalization
-look at punctuation: commas, quotes, apostrophes
-look at how the author uses commas- especially for making lists and using clauses
-look at how the author uses punctuation for quotation marks
-look at spelling changes (for example, ‘happiness’ comes from ‘happy,’ and we change the ‘y’ to an ‘i’ before adding the ending)
-look at spelling patterns- especially in multisyllabic words
-use the glossary to help understand the meanings of words and how to pronounce them
-discuss homographs, what they mean, and how you know which way to pronounce them
-find and discuss prepositional phrases in the text
-look carefully frequently confused words (to/two/too, etc.)
-identify conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections and look at how they are used in the text
-look for patterns in verb tenses across the chapter or story
-choose several sentences and rewrite them by condensing or expanding them (this is also a good lead-in to a writing lesson)

If you only have one copy of the text being read aloud:
-make a word web for abstract nouns that are important to the text
-ask: what does this particular pronoun mean/ refer to?
-pick out simple, compound, complex sentences and discuss how they function in the text
-point out relative pronouns (whose, whom, etc.) as you read aloud
-look at modal verbs (can, should, must) and how they affect the meaning of the text
-point out examples of run-on sentences and sentence fragments and how the author uses them for effect
-discuss how the author chooses words & phrases for effect
-look at spoken language when the characters are speaking, and compare and contrast it with the narrative text
-use context clues to figure out the meanings of words or phrases
-use roots/ affixes to figure out the meanings of words or phrases
-use dictionaries to look up words and discuss their meanings in the context of the read aloud
-discuss figurative language
-list literal and nonliteral language
-look at shades of meanings for different words
-analyze similies and metaphors
-look carefully at words that have multiple-meanings
-discuss idioms, adages, and proverbs
-point out synonyms and antonyms and how they relate to each other
-compare and contrast varieties and styles of English
-point out examples of either/ or and neither/nor and what they mean in the context of the book

Happy (language skills) Teaching!!
Christine Cadalzo