Generally read alouds and technology have never really meshed. With the advent of distance learning or virtual learning as my district calls it, we’ve learned that they do indeed mesh. You read aloud a book. Maybe it’s an e-book that you might play on BookFlix or Youtube or the like. Or even more scarce in our increasingly more digital classroom environments: one of those old analog devices made from tree pulp – a BOOK. However, today I’m going to show you how you can use Google in your read alouds whether you are teaching a traditional classroom or distance learning.
Lesson Plan With Google Docs
Are you one of those teachers with beautiful, cute organized binders all lined up on pristine shelves behind your teacher table? Binders with flowery, colorful fonts that read ELA, MATH, etc.? Yeah, that’s not me. My substitute teachers like to spend my prep period organizing the explosion of papers, markers, pens and manipulatives that is my small group table. That’s why I keep all of my lesson plans in my Google Drive.
I organize my read aloud lesson plans in one folder and organize those by theme/unit…sometimes. Sometimes I just pull up my lesson plan template, make a copy and the lesson plan is lost in the dumping ground that is the majority of my Google Drive because I forget to hit the Organize button and put it in the proper file.
In any case, you can make your lesson plans in Google Docs using a template kind of like this one:
I love using Google Docs for my lesson plans because I can *generally* easily find my lesson plans year after year. If I’m organized, I can even find my lesson plans by theme or unit.
Link to Other Resources For That Book!
I can also link other activities like multimedia videos, Google Slides, or Google Docs activities right into my lesson plan like I did with this Biblioburro lesson plan:
Time-Saving and Student-Friendly Templates
The template also allows me to follow a set type plan that I like to follow. More importantly, students like the template even though they never see it because they can predict the gameplan for the lesson. Especially with students with trauma, this ability to predict the general procedure for lessons is important to help them stay regulated and self-regulate when there is a small change.
Easily Edit For the Future and Share
By making my lesson plans in Google Docs, I can easily make changes each year when I find that something did not work or that one activity didn’t particularly resonate with my kids. All I do is go back into my Google Doc read aloud lesson plans and make the change.
And with how much us teachers love to share, Google makes everything so easy to share with our colleagues with their convenient Share button. Don’t want them to make edits on your lesson plan? You can give them view only access and they can make a copy!
During the Lesson – Google Slides
Ok, we’ve seen how to use Google Docs to make your read aloud lesson plan. Now what about during your read aloud? Google’s Swiss Army Knife – Google Slides.
You’re probably saying, “Josh, how do you use Google Slides DURING a read aloud? You’re reading a book!” I know, I know, I was the same way. Hear me out, though!
Sometimes I’m rushed. I’m in a meeting and I don’t have time to prep my discussion questions. I don’t have time to review my lesson plan one last time in the morning. God forbid an administrator decides to walk through and I don’t have my “I can…” statement posted.
ENTER GOOGLE SLIDES!
Sit your kids down in front of an interactive whiteboard, TV screen, or personal device if you’re teaching in a distance learning environment, and open up your Google Slides presentation for your read aloud lesson plan.
On Google Slides I put my purpose for listening or purpose for analysis while we close read the book. I write my “I can…” statement. Embed a Youtube video? Google Slides has got you! It’s AHHHHHMAZING!
Ways to Use Google Slides During a Read Aloud
- Post standards (CCSS, TEKS, etc.)
- “I can…” statements
- Lesson Purpose
- Vocabulary and activities (like Kahoot)d
- Discussion Questions
- Discourse stems / sentence frames / sentence stems
- digital anchor chart using tables and drawings
- Reading Response Prompts
- Link to my lesson plan
- Multimedia links: Youtube, websites, other G Suite files
- Link to a video read aloud of the book
I could list off a TON more uses for Google Slides during a read aloud but that may need to be another blog post. As I said, Google Slides is the Swiss Army Knife of the Google Suite of applications.
What I No Longer Have to Do Because I Use Google Slides:
- Handwrite “I can…” statements with my chicken scratch
- Read from a lesson plan during my read aloud
- Handwrite discussion questions and sentence frames
- Forget any part of my lesson that I want to say to students
- Print reading response pages (if I don’t want to)
- Search for websites, videos, etc.
If you can’t tell, I LOVE Google Slides. They’ve completely transformed how I do my interactive read alouds.
After the Lesson – Docs, Slides and Forms
Now that you’ve planned and delivered your read aloud lesson, now how do you use the Google Suite of applications AFTER your lesson?
Well, what do students need to do after a read aloud? Discuss and respond to the reading.
Tracking Discussion with Google Forms
In another blog post, I talk about how important it is to measure student discourse. When your kids are discussing, on a secondary device you can pull up a Google Form that you can get here to track how your students are participating in your classroom discussion.
No matter what kind of discussion we are having, I can use my Google Form to measure how my students are participating: with hand signals, agreeing/disagreeing, adding on or even just saying something irrelevant.
In a virtual learning environment, you can have your read aloud live and discuss the book live or you can read the book aloud and ask students to discuss on Flipgrid.
Reading Response with Docs, Slides and Forms
For reading responses, I can have students respond on a Google Doc, Google Slide or Google Form. You can send them to students on Google Classroom, Showbie, Apple Classroom or your favorite classroom workflow application. Why a mix of the three Google Apps for response, though?
- Open-ended responses
- collaborate with a partner or group on a reading response
It’s kind of limited, but it’s quick and easy
- digital graphic organizers
- collaborate on graphic organizers
The beauty of Google Slides is that you can create a digital graphic organizer. For example, KWL, story maps, or even a Venn Diagram like this one that I created for Alma and How She Got Her Name:
- Multiple choice
- Fill in the blank
- Reading perception (did they like the book?)
I’m not a big fan of multiple choice questions when it comes to reading response, but Google Forms would provide that kind of functionality for you if you do. They can be really good, though, because a Google Form quiz can provide instant feedback, something I am really trying to strive for.
Google provides a lot of options for your read aloud lesson plans whether you teach in a traditional classroom or are making distance learning work. I would say that they can completely transform them even. If you have heard of the SAMR model for technology integration in education, I would say that it can really get to the Modification level where you are modifying how both you and the students are interacting with your read aloud.
Give it a try FREE!
Do you want to give it a try? Why not, right? Nothing ventured, nothing gained I always say! I believe in my digital resources for read alouds so much and think that they can transform your teaching, I want you to give it a try FREE!
Sign up below to get my bestselling read aloud lesson plan for the growth mindset picture book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds including my lesson plan, Google Slides presentation to use during the lesson, and linked Google Docs for student reading response. Also included are my Spanish resources for the same book El punto for if you’re a dual language bilingual teacher!