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Classroom Strategies

Listen-Read-Discuss (LRD)


Listen-Read-Discuss (LRD) (Manzo & Casale, 1985) is a comprehension strategy that builds students’ prior knowledge before they read a text. During the first stage, students listen as you present the content of their reading through a lecture, often paired with a graphic organizer.

Next, students read the text and compare what they learned during the lecture to their understanding of reading the text on their own. Finally, students discuss their understanding of the text with other students in their small group or large group.


LRD is a powerful tool for engaging struggling readers in classroom discussions. Since the content is initially covered orally, students unable to read the entire text on their own are able to gain at least a surface level of understanding about the reading.

Those students lacking prior knowledge about the content gain it during the listening stage, allowing them to more easily comprehend the text during the reading stage.

Create and use the strategy

  1. Listen: You present a lecture on the content of the reading. Include a graphic organizer of the information you discuss.
  2. Read: Students read the selection, guided by the idea that the reading may provide another understanding or interpretation of the content.
  3. Discuss: Lead a classroom discussion of the material. Encourage students to reflect on the differences between their reading of the content and your presentation.

LRD is difficult to use on a daily basis because developing the lecture and the students’ prior knowledge is time intensive.

Be selective and choose specific text you feel your students lack prior knowledge about and need more support with as your LRD text. Most students don’t need that high level of support for the content material they will read, but struggling readers and early English language learners will benefit greatly from this strategy. 


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

McKenna, M.C. (2002). Help for struggling readers: Strategies for grades 3-8. New York: Guilford.