Layering Text to Support Understanding and Discourse

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
11:00am to Noon (Central Time)
Ayers Institute Webinars


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Explore the value of planning intentional read alouds to engage learners in inquiry and discourse around content (history, math, science, art, music) topics. We will share a model of a read aloud with layered text that will engage readers with content, deepen comprehension and promote discourse in written and spoken conversation.

Join Dr. Suze Gilbert, Lead Faculty for Reading Specialty and Literacy at Lipscomb University’s College of Education for this presentation.  This online webinar is appropriate for teachers, literacy coaches, school leaders, and education system leaders.


Additional resource(s): 

Possible Reading Strategies from Reading Rockets

Before reading:

  • Motivate students through activities that may increase their interest (book talks, dramatic readings, or displays of art related to the text), making the text relevant to students in some way.
  • Activate students' background knowledge important to the content of the text by discussing what students will read and what they already know about its topic and about the text organization.
  • Establish a purpose for reading.
  • Identify and discuss difficult words, phrases, and concepts in the text.
  • Preview the text (by surveying the title, illustrations, and unusual text structures) to make predictions about its content.
  • Think, talk, and write about the topic of the text.

During reading:

  • Ask questions that keep students on track and focus their attention on main ideas and important points in the text.
  • Focus attention on parts in a text that require students to make inferences.
  • Encourage students to return to any predictions they have made before reading to see if they are confirmed by the text.
  • Determine and summarize important ideas and supportive details.
  • Make connections between and among important ideas in the text.
  • Integrate new ideas with existing background knowledge.
  • Ask themselves questions about the text.
  • Sequence events and ideas in the text.
  • Offer interpretations of and responses to the text.
  • Visualize characters, settings, or events in a text.

After reading:

  • Guide discussion of the reading.
  • Refer student back to thinking before or during reading.
  • Ask students to recall and tell in their own words important parts of the text.
  • Offer students opportunities to respond to the reading in various ways, including through writing, dramatic play, music, readers' theatre, videos, debate, or pantomime.
  • Evaluate and discuss the ideas encountered in the text.
  • Apply and extend these ideas to other texts and real life situations.
  • Summarize what was read by retelling the main ideas.
  • Ask questions that may require more inquiry.

APA Book/Article references

  • Hoyt, L. (2007). Interactive read-alouds: Linking standards, fluency, and comprehension. Heinemann. 
  • Shetterly, M. L. (2018). Hidden figures: The true story of four Black women and the Space Race. HarperCollins.