Building Connections with Text and Increasing Engagement with Read Alouds

increase engagement during reading (1)

I normally teach reading and ESL in small groups to ELLs. I use prediction questions on a daily basis before we begin the class read aloud. I project the 2-4 prediction questions (created in powerpoint or G slides) onto the board and ask the students to sign their names underneath the answer choice they think is right. See the sample questions below for The Hate U Give.

Prediction questions snip

The questions are of varying types, but all ask students to engage in critical thought about what they know about the book and characters to guess at what will happen next. Having the students guess about what will happen in the reading beforehand creates engagement during the read aloud. They want to know if they got their answers right.

You could also print the questions on a chapter-by-chapter basis and have the students choose the answer that they think best fits in writing. You could collect as an entrance or exit ticket. You could also pull the questions out of the formatting below and create your own chapter quizzes or assessments.

One additional suggestion, which I use in my room, is to create a weekly or monthly “raffle.” Give students one “raffle ticket” (I cut up pieces of colored paper) to write their name on for each correct answer. Any student who selects the correct answers to the prediction questions gets his or her name entered in the raffle, one ticket for each correct answer. At the end of the week, I draw one name. That person is the “raffle” winner for the week and can make a selection from the prize box.

During Reading Prediction Raffle

Prize options

You can use a traditional prize box for middle or high school as well as elementary. It always surprises me the silly things that kids still enjoy in the upper grades.

I use a normal sort of prize box for the middle school students I teach with small toys, and candy etc. Most of this stuff I get from Target, the dollar section, or from Oriental Trading. I have also had good success finding things like headphones, gum, squishy balls, small snacks (Cheez-its), key chains, phone cases, etc at Five Below.

Just got these emoji balls from Amazon for prizes.

For the high school, I have also done a larger raffle drawing, only once a month and I auction off a small gift card ($5 to $10) for something like gas, Gamestop, or iTunes. This is just a suggestion, but it really does increase engagement during reading with the kids and they are more likely to listen and care about the read aloud than they are without both the prediction questions and the raffle as motivation.

I’ve been doing this for years and find it super helpful. I love read alouds anyway, but this really ups the engagement and makes it a really solid instructional practice. I do at least 10 minutes of reading aloud a day! I have a bunch of prediction questions created for a number of different books in my Tpt store. 

These include: The Hate U Give, Out of My Mind, The Absolutely True Diary of a  Part-Time Indian, A Long Walk to Water, Alabama Moon and Chains.


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