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three elementary students discussing a text together in class


The listen-read-discuss strategy helps students comprehend text. Before reading, students listen to a short lecture delivered by the teacher. The students then read a text selection about the topic. After reading, there is a large group discussion or students engage in small group discussions about the topic. During the discussion, students compare and contrast the information from the lecture with the information they read.

Key Information



When To Use This Strategy

Before reading
After reading

Appropriate Group Size

With small groups
Whole class setting

Why use listen-read-discuss?

  • It helps students comprehend material presented orally.
  • It builds students’ prior knowledge before they read a text.
  • It engages struggling readers in classroom discussions.
  • This simple, flexible strategy can be used across all curriculum areas with almost any text.

How to use listen-read-discuss

  1. Listen: Present information to students about the book they will be reading. This can be in the form of a short lecture on the topic, using a graphic organizer to guide the lecture.
  2. Read: Ask students to read a text selection. The content should be similar to the material presented during the “listen” portion of the lesson.
  3. Discuss: Lead a classroom discussion of the material. Encourage students to reflect on any differences between their reading of the content and your presentation.

Learn more about listen-read-discuss ›

Differentiated instruction

For second language learners, students of varying reading skill, and younger learners

  • Include a graphic organizer of the information you discuss.
  • Choose specific text you feel your students lack prior knowledge about and need more support with as your LRD text.

See the research that supports this strategy

Manzo, Anthony V., & Casale, Ula P. (1985). Listen-Read-Discuss: A content reading heuristic. Journal of Reading, 28, 372-734.