How do you get students involved in your read-alouds? A simple solution comes out in the DLTA (Directed Listening and Thinking Activity). Students remain involved as you read aloud and gain important comprehension strategies all at the same time! As I begin the school year, I spend much of my time working with all student groups on various comprehension skills and strategies.
What is the DLTA?
1. Beforehand, the teacher selects a book to read aloud to the class, choosing appropriate places to stop and make predictions or discuss the book.
2. Show the cover of the book to the class and discuss the title. Predict what the story will entail and write those predictions on the board.
3. Read the book aloud to students, showing pictures if there are any, and stopping at intervals to discuss predictions and the story. Write those on the board.
4. Do this a few more times, depending on the length of the book or story. You can even ask questions as you go through the book to help with comprehension. I put sticky notes with the questions to remind myself what to ask.
5. Finish the story and discuss predictions that had been made and any other skill you may have wanted to highlight in the lesson.
When to use it
Anytime, but don't overuse it! It is best used with struggling readers or maybe even to introduce a specific skill. Students really need to be reading on their own and using strategies like this one to enhance reading skills. And the best part is that you can use it with ANY grade level!
Many picture books lend themselves well to the DLTA, and there are tons of lists out on the Internet pairing books and skills. It is a great way to help students focus on those all important comprehension skills in an easy way.