Teaching Strategy

Author's Chair

Responding to the Read-Aloud Text
Grade Level


Using either a Perspectives central text or their original work, children take on the role of “author,” reading the text aloud and facilitating a class discussion.


During and after reading


Gradual release of responsibility—I do, we do, you do—can solidify learning when extended to include “I teach.” Author’s Chair allows students to exhibit full understanding and comprehension of the reading or their original work. The strategy also works as an effective formative assessment.


  1. Select a central text to be read aloud. Alternately, select a piece of student work. In either scenario, the student reader is the “author” and should be familiar with the text. Display or project the text.
  2. Instruct the student author to read the text from beginning to end one time while classmates watch and listen. For pre- and emerging readers, the student author can describe the story verbally or through pictures instead of reading from the text.
  3. During a second reading, the student author identifies a reading method for the class. Some suggestions: 
    • choral reading of the text;
    • assigning character roles within the text (readers’ theater);
    • shared reading of sections of the text by different small groups within the class.
  4. After reading the text, students identify their likes and dislikes and make connections to self, the text or the world, using textual evidence when applicable. The student author decides how this will happen (i.e. in pairs, small groups, as a whole class). Older students can use the Author's Chair handout in this activity.

English language learners

Author’s Chair provides an opportunity to positively highlight English language learners’ vocabulary development while supporting their engagement with a developmentally appropriate print or visual text.

Connection to anti-bias education

Students gain confidence to represent a perspective that might not otherwise be a part of the classroom. This strategy also empowers students as classroom leaders.