Learn what works

A Think-aloud provides an opportunity to model for students how an expert reader gathers meaning from text. Essentially, the teacher visibly models for students the comprehension process or strategy he or she is using to understand the author’s message, therefore, helping students think metacognitively about the reading comprehension process. The long-range goal is to have students use these same processes and strategies themselves. To achieve this, students need many practice opportunities doing their own Think-alouds across a wide range of text.

Essential Moves of the Think-aloud

  1. Introduction ** (Announce the reading comprehension process or strategy you will model and its purpose.)
  2. Read passage ** (Text may be as short as a title and first line or as long as several paragraphs.)
  3. Set up demonstration (Describe again the process or strategy you will be modeling.)
  4. Demonstrate using the reading comprehension process or strategy **
  5. Review why the process or strategy is useful
  6. Conduct a student application activity that leads to a Think-aloud

** Identifies the essential attributes of a Think-aloud

Examples of Major Comprehension Processes and Strategies

See how it works

Grade 1 – Main Idea and Supporting Details
Elementary Special Education – Summarizing
Grade 4 – Monitoring Comprehension
Grade 5 – Generating Questions to Make and Confirm Predictions
High School – Summarizing

Central Rivers AEA Lending Library Video Resources

Do what works

Think-aloud Implementation Log
Studying Student Performance
Collaboration Checklist


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