Though the main goal of the read aloud is to enjoy literature, it is also a most powerful pedagogical tool. Mainly through thinking aloud, teachers can model 8 reading strategies of highly effective readers as expounded by Zimmerman and Keene.
1)Activating background knowledge- What do you already know about this subject? How can what we know serve as a foundation for understanding the new text?
2)Questioning the text- What does the author mean? Why did the character do that?
3)Drawing inferences- I predict this is going to happen next.
4)Determining importance- Is this information important to understanding the plot?
5) Visualizing- Seeing the setting, characters, and actions happening in your imagination.
6) Repairing understanding- Does this make sense? Should I go back and reread?
7) and Synthesizing- This is what the book is about in my own words.
As we read aloud to the children, we model these seven reading strategies, sharing our thinking aloud. Gradually, we release responsibility to the children to independently utilize these strategies to bring meaning to their own reading.