Shared and Performance Reading

Reading in the classroom can be seen in many forms: interactive read alouds, shared or performance reading, guided reading, or independent reading. Shared and performance reading is similar to interactive read alouds because you are engaging the students as you read, but it takes things beyond listening and discussing. Shared and performance reading involve students.

Reading in the classroom can be seen in many forms: interactive read alouds, shared or performance reading, guided reading, or independent reading. Shared and performance reading is similar to interactive read alouds because you are engaging the students as you read, but it takes things beyond listening and discussing. Shared and performance reading involve students.

For all types of shared and performance reading, it is imperative that every students can see the text. This may mean that you are using a big book or poster, you may be projecting the text on your document camera or interactive white board, or you may simply give each student a copy of the text.


Types of Shared and Performance Reading

Best suited for emergent readers or young learners, shared reading is a teacher-led activity. Generally you are reading a short poem or a portion of a book together.

Choral reading is used with short passages or poems. The text is read in unison as a group. Reading in this manner can give students more confidence in their reading abilities and help improve fluency.

What sets readers' theater apart from other shared and performance reading is the focus on individual roles in the reading. Readers' theater is similar to a play being read directly from the script; the parts are not memorized.

Choosing Texts

Each type of shared and performance reading requires a different kind of text. The most important thing is that the text is interesting or engaging - shared reading in particular. As you'll read in a moment a shared reading text will be read and reread for several days. You want your students to enjoy the repeated readings, not dread them.

Nursery rhymes are perfect for shared reading, because students are probably already familiar with the text and you can easily work on rhyming during the skill practice. There are also lots of great big books and flip charts available with short poems.
           

    

Structure of Shared Reading

Day 1
  • Introduce the text
  • Model reading - teacher reads while students listen
  • Read together - teacher and students read the entire text or selected portions of the text together
  • Discuss the text - talk about how the text relates to what you are learning about (ex. plants, rhyming words, the letter "h", etc.)
Day 2
  • Reread the text together
  • Teaching point - choose a particular skill to focus on and break down the text; you may circle every letter "h" in the text or underline the rhyming words
Day 3
  • Reread the text together
  • Teaching point - choose a different skill to focus on and break down the text
Day 4
  • Optional independent or partner read - students have been exposed to the text several times now and should be able to read it on their own or with the help of a friend

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