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Daily Read Alouds with Prediction Questions with Secondary ELLs

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Why Read Aloud to Older ELLs?

Reading aloud is an invaluable strategy for students of all age levels. Research shows that reading aloud to older students can improve their reading comprehension and fluency, as well as their ability to retain and recall information. Reading aloud to ELLs is can help improve their reading comprehension, particularly when paired with discussions about he text. It is also helpful because ELLs can often access read aloud texts that are above their independent reading levels, which helps with incorporating more high-order thinking into lessons. Read aloud is also an invaluable way for students to learn new vocabulary. Reading aloud can also provide a model for good reading habits. As an expert reader, the teacher is a model of proper inflection, pitch, and rhythm of speech and expression. These are qualities that help students with their own reading.

For me personally, perhaps the most important thing about reading aloud to older students is getting them to enjoy reading. To show them how engaging books can be. This is one of the primary strategies I use to get non-readers reading. I LOVE reading aloud and I try to do it daily if possible. The more into the book you are, the more the kids get into it as well.

Using Prediction Questions

When I’m reading aloud I always I use prediction questions. I project these questions before we begin reading. For a particular section of text 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 this as an entrance or exit ticket. You could also pull the questions out of the formatting and create your own chapter quizzes or assessments.


One additional suggestion, which I also use in my room with great success is the raffle. Each person who gets a correct prediction receives one raffle ticket for each correct answer. I then do either a a weekly or monthly raffle where I pull a name out of the hat and give that student a prize. (I do this very old-school and non-fancy by cutting up pieces of colored paper for students to write their names on for each correct answer. I pick a specific color so it’s not that easy to “cheat” by cutting up white paper and throwing it in there.) Here’s a post about what sorts of prizes I do for secondary students.


I’ve been following this system of class read aloud, prediction question and raffle with prizes for years. I absolutely love it and it’s the thing that student tell me they remember the most about my class. I have had many conversations with former students about the books we read aloud together as class. For some students these are the only books they have ever read.  Using the prediction questions  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 store!

These include:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
  • Alabama Moon by Watt Key
  • Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Happy teaching!


Works cited: 

  1. “The Effects of Repeated Reading on Reading Fluency and Comprehension: A Meta-Analysis.” by Joseph K. Torgesen, et al. 

  2. “The Impact of Reading Aloud on Children’s Language and Literacy Development: A Review of the Literature.” by Susan B. Neuman and Tanya S. Wright. 

  3. “The Role of Reading Aloud in Promoting Vocabulary Acquisition and Comprehension in Adolescent Learners.” by Jessica A. Rott, et al. T

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