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Common Core State Standards

Common Core State Standards The Core Knowledge Foundation supports the common standards initiative. Voluntary standards are "a not-to-be-missed opportunity" for American education. —E. D. Hirsch, Jr. More…

Teacher Handbooks

Teacher Handbooks The Teacher Handbook series for preschool to grade 5 consists of the the Teacher Handbooks, Instructional Masters, Art Resources, and Text Resources. More…

Domain-based Read-aloud Units

Word Knowledge + World Knowledge = Comprehension

Why use Read-Alouds?

Read-alouds provide an ideal vehicle for teaching content knowledge and fostering language skills. 

  • Listening comprehension outpaces reading comprehension through the elementary school years.  Read-alouds leverage listening comprehension to expose children to both language and content.
  • Written text uses more rich and complex vocabulary and syntax than the more casual language of conversations, lectures, and class discussions. Read-alouds expose children to rich vocabulary and syntax. 
  • A coherently sequenced set of read-alouds provides repeated opportunities for exposure to domain-specific vocabulary and a wider variety of syntax and sentence structures.

Using a domain-based unit format, content knowledge can be taught while simultaneously building listening comprehension and language skills.

Selecting Appropriate Readings

Stories and books appropriate for this read-aloud approach embody the following characteristics:
•    Are written above children’s current reading level
•    Deliver necessary content
•    Use domain and rich vocabulary
•    Appropriate level of complexity
•    Illustrations/diagrams assist in delivering content
•    Appropriate length
•    Factually accurate
•    Appropriate content for age of students
•    Sensitive to diversity

Use the Read-Aloud Checklist to evaluate the quality of texts.