Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Paired Reading

Kristen Sublett | Published: September 22nd, 2020 by K20 Center


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Paired Reading

Working together with a partner, students read and summarize a piece of text. This strategy is great for breaking up texts into manageable pieces while simultaneously sharpening students' listening and comprehension skills.

Paired Reading


Working together with a partner, students read a text while taking on different roles. One listens, while the other reads. While reading, students stop after short segments and together summarize what has been read. Students then switch roles and repeat the process.


  1. Before assigning a reading, identify natural breaks where students can stop to summarize. Breaks might be set after one paragraph or several. Consider the skill level of your students and the difficulty of the text. You could also allow students to choose their own breaks in the reading.

  2. Partners decide who will listen first and who will tell first.

  3. Both partners read the selected text silently, cueing each other when finished. For struggling readers, you could have the listener read aloud.

  4. After both partners finish, the teller orally recalls the main ideas of the reading. The listener can speak or interrupt only to clarify unclear points.

  5. After the teller is finished, the listener shares any additional information he or she remembers and corrects any misconceptions of the teller.

  6. When the listener is finished, both partners repeat the process for the next segment of text with the roles swapped. The teller becomes the listener and vice versa. Roles alternate until the reading is completed.

Larson, C., & Dansereau, D. (1986). Cooperative learning in dyads. Journal of Reading, 29, 516-520.