Archived InformationState of the Art: Reading - November 1993
(Templeton 1991, p. 272)
There are two types of modeling: implicit and explicit (Roehler and Duffey 1991). Implicit modeling occurs as part of the literacy experience--for example, reading a fable aloud to children while also engaging them in the meaning of story and conveying a purpose for reading. Explicit modeling entails demonstrating to students how to approach a task--such as how to use a table of contents.
Two types of explicit modeling are talk-alouds and think-alouds. In a talk-aloud activity, the teacher gives students a series of steps they must follow to complete a task, and then asks questions to guide students through the task from beginning to end. In a think-aloud activity, the teacher shares with students the thinking process one must go through to approach a task and complete it. On the one hand, in the talk-aloud method, the teacher's emphasis is on the procedural steps used to complete a task like finding the main idea. On the other hand, in the think-aloud approach, the teacher's emphasis is on the actual thinking process that he or she goes through in approaching and carrying out a cognitive task like inferring a main idea.
Both forms of modeling, implicit and explicit, have a place in the
well-balanced literacy program. They are designed to show students
strategies they can use on their own to gain an understanding of
new material. It is critical, however, that modeling practices be
seated within whole literacy events because they easily become
instances of isolated skills teaching. Ensuring that modeling
practices take place within an appropriate instructional context
requires continuous vigilance from the teacher.