Think Aloud: During Reading

Think Aloud is a self-analysis strategy that provides a means for students to identify the types of thought processes/strategies they experience during reading. Equally important, this process reveals the strategies that are not a part of the reader's experience.
Strong readers approach a text selection with sound reading strategies (e.g., self-monitoring, questioning, summarizing, etc.) that improve comprehension. The Think Aloud process helps students recognize which of these strategies they already use and which they need to incorporate into their reading.

Steps to Think Aloud:

1. Choose a difficult reading selection for students. This passage may contain an inordinate amount of details, complicated concepts, unfamiliar vocabulary, or ambiguous information.

2. Outline the specific reading strategies students should look for using the Think Aloud process. Be sure that every student is entirely clear about the meaning and purpose of each strategy. Provide a checklist of the strategies for each student.

3. Allow the students to read the difficult passage, using the checklist to note the reading strategies they employ. Move around the classroom, assisting students who appear perplexed or confused by the exercise.

4. Use the Think Aloud process to help students identify the following strategies:
o Making predictions
o Developing mental images
o Making analogies
o Connecting new information to background knowledge
o Self-questioning
o Using fix-up strategies to regulate comprehension


Developing metacognitive skills is a fundamental aspect of education. Students, in the end, must be enabled to become life-long learners, utilizing personal strategies to augment their personal levels of understanding. This activity not only allows them to reflect on their own preferred strategy, but allows them to view how others accomplish the same task, thereby building their skill set regarding literacy. Within the context of my class, I would incorporate the usage of JSTOR scholarly articles to reinforce concepts being developed within our curriculum. Thus, content knowledge would be acquired in tandem with literacy skills.

Source: Think Aloud