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Directed Listening/Thinking Activity (DLTA) and Directed Reading/Thinking Activity (DRTA)

These two activities have the students either listening (DLTA) or reading (DRTA) stories actively and critically. Throughout the activity the students are to summarize and make predictions about the story content. It is important to avoid terms such as, "right" or "wrong." Instead us terms like "might happen," "likely" or "possible." Predicting is not so much guessing right, but rather coming up with possible alternatives.
  1. The teacher chooses a story in advance, one with a clear plot structure and attractive illustrations.
  2. The teacher becomes familiar with the story, and plans to stop reading at least 2–4 times at predetermined points where she can ask the students to summarize what has happened so far, and predict what may happen next.
  3. Before reading to the children (DLTA), or having them read silently (DRTA), the teacher draws attention to the cover of the book by reading the title and looking at its illustration. The teacher asks the children to make predictions as to what the story may be about. The teacher accepts all predictions.
  4. The teacher records the predictions on the board, and asks, "Why do you think so?"
  5. The teacher reads the story to the class (DLTA), or has the students read silently to a predetermined stopping point (DRTA). At each of the stopping points, the teacher asks for the children's summaries of what has happened so far, and what they predict will happen next.
  6. The class reexamines the predictions on the board, discusses which predictions are no longer viable, and which need to be adjusted or refined. New predictions are then formulated.
  7. Continue reading aloud (DLTA), or silently (DRTA) to the next stopping point. Repeat step 6.

Stauffer, R. (1980). The language experience approach to the teaching of reading. (2nd ed.). NY: Harper and Row.

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4th Grade Reading Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
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College of Education, University of South Florida ©2013.