Choral Reading is a strategy in which either the whole class or a group of students read aloud in unison from the same text. It helps build students’ fluency, selfconfidence, and motivation by providing both a model for fluent reading and the opportunity to practice reading in a safe setting. Because students are reading aloud together, those who may be less skilled and feel self-conscious or nervous about reading aloud have built-in support. Through this strategy, students are able to increase their oral reading fluency skills such as accuracy, automaticity, and prosody/expression.
- Choose a short passage (about 2 minutes) that works well for reading aloud as a group. The selection should be content relevant and at a level which most students can independently.
- Provide each student with a copy of the text so they can follow along (i.e., book, handout, digital device). If providing student copies isn’t feasible, you may project it.
- If necessary, provide just enough background knowledge of the text so students are somewhat familiar with the content.
- The teacher reads the passage aloud to model fluent reading while students use their finger or another object such as a pencil or popsicle stick to follow along silently.
- After reading, review any target words or phrases that might not be familiar to students.
- When preparing to read the text together, countdown to help students begin to read on cue, then read the text together.
- What did you notice about yourself as a reader when we read together?
- What do you like best about choral reading?
- How does reading the text together help you?
- Choral reading is a whole class activity. Therefore, when giving feedback, it should be directed toward the whole class, not individual students. Doing so provides a safe space for struggling readers to practice reading aloud.
- Choral reading can be implemented through a process of repeated weekly readings. The following is a possible process:
- Day 1 – Introduce the text, provide background information, model reading of the text while students follow along silently, and review target words or phrases.
- Day 2 – Students read the passage aloud in unison with the teacher (who reads with a voice loud enough for all to hear). During the choral reading, the teacher listens closely for difficulty with any words or phrases and occasionally may stop and restart the reading if needed. The teacher may record the class reading and share with the class to identify areas for improvement.
- Day 3 – Students continue to practice choral reading of the passage. During this time, the teacher provides guidance and feedback based on the needs of the class (e.g., correct pronunciation, phrasing, attention to commas, periods, etc.).
- Day 4 – As students become more fluent at reading the passage, the teacher provides a variation of whole class choral reading such as echo reading, paired/buddy reading, etc.
- Day 5 – Students choral read the passage or use another strategy, such as echo reading or paired/buddy reading. Teacher records again to share with students so they can hear their progress.
- Technology can be utilized to provide students with models of hearing a fluent reader. Record yourself (or another fluent reader) reading the text being used in class for fluency practice so students can re-listen and practice on their own.
Utilize the literacy block for Choral Reading. The elements of poetry (e.g., repetition, rhyming, phrasing, punctuation, etc.) make this a perfect genre for practicing fluency.
Choose a short primary text relevant to the unit you are studying, and use Choral Reading to help students understand how to read a text written many years ago (e.g. The Constitution, historical records, Declaration of Independence, etc.).
VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS
Provide each student with a copy of song lyrics to practice Choral Reading. Once students are fluent with the text, they can put the words to music.
Find a short text about a topic in science you are studying (e.g., insects, weather, electricity, etc.) and use Choral Reading to help build fluency and knowledge about the topic.
HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION