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Teacher Reading Tips: Reader Response

In this section, you can´┐Ż

  • Read background on varied reader response
  • Review methods of written, oral, and productive reader response

    Methods of Responding

    With each of the methods listed below it is important that the teacher model the method of responding, then move to guided, then independent use. As students explore a variety of responding options it is important to allow for time and choice and to be positive and supporting.

  • Methods for written response
  • Methods for oral response
  • Methods for productive response


    • Models
      Students mimic the format and style of a particular author or literary form (poem, mystery, fable, etc.)

    • Response Journals
      Students create journal entries that answer either teacher or student generated questions about what has been read.

    • Dialogue Journals
      Students and teacher write to each other through journal entries.

    • Plays
      Plays can begin as one-act versions with a small number of characters. Content for the play could be inspired by an on-going theme, author study, or literary work.

    • Poems
      Students can respond to other literary forms by creating a poem. Poetic styles can include traditional, free verse and/or other inventive forms of poetry. Concrete poems, where the text of the poem creates the shape of an object, are very motivating to some students.

    • What Ifs
      What Ifs ask students to alter some portion of a story by speculating what would happen if... What Ifs can include altering an event, setting, and/or character.

    Oral Activities
    • Book Sharing
      Students share and exchange books and do "Book Talks" with their books.

    • Storytelling by Children
      Students can rehearse an oral version of their book and share it with classmates, record it on a video, and/or share the story with younger students in the school.

    • Choral Speaking
      A class or reading group reads short, significant portions of a text orally in unison. This technique is motivating and builds fluency and expressiveness.

    • Discussion
      Informal, but structured discussions about books. The (literature circles) teacher initially models and provides discussion questions. Leadership roles are later taken on by the students. Either texts that everyone has read can be discussed or different books connected to an author or theme can be used.

    • Drama
      Informal reenactments of a story/story event.

    • Pantomime
      Silent reenactments of a story or story event using expressions, gesture, and movements.

    • Reader's theater
      Reader's Theater is a technique that focuses on the oral reading of a selection by one or more readers. It provides students with an opportunity to express themselves in front of others in a low-risk environment. It helps reinforce a multitude of reading, listening, and speaking skills. Reader's Theater builds fluency through repeated reading. It also provides practice in oral expression, volume, phrasing, and diction.

    • Improvisation
      Unrehearsed reenactments of a story or story event. Props can be used only if immediately available.


    • Dioramas
      Miniature 3-dimensional reproductions of settings and scenes.

    • Posters
      Posters of characters, settings, scenes.

    • Portraits
      Portraits of main character.

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