Thinking-aloud Strategy for Better Reading

Thinking-aloud Strategy for Better Reading

Show your child the thought processes, by thinking-aloud while read­ing a pas­sage from her favorite book, and explain how they helped under­stand the story bet­ter. Give your child oppor­tu­ni­ties to prac­tice thinking-aloud.

“Talk­ing with a friend is noth­ing else but think­ing aloud.” ~ Joseph Addi­son

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Thinking-aloud may help chil­dren become bet­ter read­ers. The thinking-aloud strat­egy involves think­ing about things such as the mean­ings of facts, pre­dic­tions and ques­tions that occur while read­ing. Take up your child’s favorite sto­ry­book, and describe your thoughts while read­ing a pas­sage aloud. Talk to her about the thought processes and explain how they helped under­stand the story better.

When she under­stands the thinking-aloud process, try it on dif­fer­ent pas­sages. Have her write down the thought processes, and ask her to talk about the think­ing and the kinds of things that occurred. Look for responses such as mak­ing pre­dic­tions before read­ing, revis­ing pre­dic­tions based on new infor­ma­tion, think­ing about the infor­ma­tion read, mak­ing infer­ences, draw­ing con­clu­sions, mak­ing judg­ments, cre­at­ing men­tal images, para­phras­ing, sum­ma­riz­ing, gen­er­at­ing ques­tions, rea­son­ing, mon­i­tor­ing under­stand­ing, use of con­text to under­stand mean­ing, reread­ing chal­leng­ing sec­tions, and look­ing at illus­tra­tions. It will help detect inef­fec­tive pro­cess­ing such as the non-use of metacog­ni­tive and cog­ni­tive skills, greater focus on decod­ing and pro­nun­ci­a­tion, infre­quent acti­va­tion of back­ground knowl­edge, not mon­i­tor­ing under­stand­ing, and rais­ing few ques­tions about mean­ing. Prac­tice will help her become more aware of and be able to artic­u­late the men­tal processes she uses.


Kin­berg, M. (2006). Teach­ing Read­ing in the Con­tent Areas for Ele­men­tary Teach­ers. Hunt­ing­ton Beach, C.A.: Shell Education.

Klingner, J., Vaughn, S. & Boardm, A. (2007). Teach­ing Read­ing Com­pre­hen­sion to Stu­dents with Learn­ing Dif­fi­cul­ties. New York: Guil­ford Press.


Literacy Skills

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