Learn what works

A Nonfiction Read-aloud is simply reading aloud to your students. Read-alouds of informative, expository prose can be very brief, sharing as little as a sentence and illustration, or a single paragraph. When you are looking for good models to share and discuss with your students, look for the following:

  1. passages that address concepts that fit into curriculum content across disciplines; and
  2. passages that are well-written, especially in terms of how the author(s) announced and supported his/her major points.

One of the major instructional purposes of the Nonfiction Read-aloud is to provide an opportunity for students to learn science, social studies, mathematics, and other curriculum concepts. Our long-term goal, however, is for students to use similar text as learners and to become independent readers.

Essential Moves of the Nonfiction Read-aloud

  1. Introduction (Make connections to curriculum concepts or earlier lessons.)
  2. Activate students’ listening comprehension (This should be related to curriculum concepts.)
  3. Read passage (This is the essential attribute of a Read-aloud.)
  4. Elicit responses from students
  5. Conduct a student application activity on content

See how it works

1st Grade – Snakes
4th Grade – Settlers
5th Grade Title I – Iditarod
6th Grade – Food Chain

See other video demonstrations.

Central Rivers AEA Lending Library Video Resources

Do what works

Read-aloud Implementation Log
Collaboration Checklist


  • Calhoun, Emily. The Phoenix Alliance.
  • Iowa Department of Education. (2006). Every Child Reads.