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Methods of Responding
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Methods of Responding

Curriculum Strategies for Reading

Strategies for Helping Readers

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.

Written Response Methods


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 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.


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 Response Methods

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.


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.


Informal reenactments of a story/story event.


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.


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

Productive Response Methods


Miniature 3-dimensional reproductions of settings and scenes.


Posters of characters, settings, scenes.


Portraits of main character




U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program