Choral Reading

What is Choral Reading?

Choral reading is the whole class reading the same selection out loud.  The teacher models the reading and children read solo, in pairs, and in small and large groups.


Why Use Choral Reading?

  • It can provide less skilled readers the opportunity to practice and receive support before being required to read on their own.
  • It provides a model for fluent reading as students listen.
  • It helps improve the ability to read sight words.


See Reading Rockets for full instructions, tips on great books to use with Choral Reading, etc.


What Does the Reading Research Say about Choral Reading?

According to a webpage on ReadWriteThink, support for choral reading is found in several reading theories and educational paradigms, including Dowhower (1987), Rosenblatt (1978), Samuels (1979), and Schreiber (1980). Through repeated readings of the text, the reader increases sight word vocabulary and ability to decode words quickly and accurately. This fluent reading enables the reader to spend less time on decoding and have greater comprehension of the text (Pikulski & Chard, 2005).


Dowhower, S.L. (l987). Effects of repeated reading on second-grade transitional readers’ fluency and comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 22(4), 389–406.

Pikulski, J.J., & Chard, D.J. (2005). Fluency: Bridge between decoding and reading comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58, 510–519.

Rosenblatt, L. (1978). The reader, the text, the poem: The transactional theory of the literary work. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Samuels, S.J. (1979). The method of repeated readings. The Reading Teacher, 32(4), 403–408.

Schreiber, P.A. (1980). On the acquisition of reading fluency. Journal of Reading, 12(3), 177–186.


What Is the Choral Reading Procedure?

  • Introduce the selection to the students by reading it aloud while they follow along silently.
  • Have everyone read through the selection aloud in unison at least one time.
  • Ask different groups of students to take turns reading lines, stanzas, or paragraphs of the poem together.
  • Group readers into boys and girls, brown eyes and blue eyes, odd number birthdays and even number birthdays, or odd number birth month and even number birth month.

 For example, in a given poem, say, “Boys read the first two lines and girls read the next two lines. If you have blue or green eyes read the next paragraph and if you have brown eyes read the following paragraph.” When the poem is reread, create different groups, thereby giving all students a chance to read.
Want to try choral reading book with your students?  Here’s a choral reading book to get you started!