Reading out aloud with Audacity – A lesson that promotes self assessment


This is a great reflective tool for students to assess their own reading by recording themselves and then listening back to the recording.  After modelling how to use the Audacity software (Free), students are quite independent and love the fact that they can hear their own reading.
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Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Year 3/4 – Read an increasing range of different types of texts by combining contextual, semantic, grammatical and phonic knowledge, using text processing strategies, for example monitoring, predicting, confirming, rereading, reading on and self-correcting (ACELY1679) (ACELY1691)
  • Year 3 –  Create texts that adapt language features and patterns encountered in literary texts, for example characterisation, rhyme, rhythm, mood, music, sound effects and dialogue (ACELT1791)
  • Year 3 /4- Use software including word processing programs with growing speed and efficiency to construct and edit texts featuring visual, print and audio elements(ACELY1685)  (ACELY1697)
  • Year 4 – Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently (ACELY1688)
  • Other year levels also link in here too.


  1. Introduce students to the software and model how to record themselves.

  1. Allow students to record themselves in a quiet area reading one of their books.
  2. Ask them to listen to their reading and answer the following questions.
  • What do you do well when you read aloud?
  • How do you think you sound?
  • Do you change your voice as you read?
  • How could you improve your reading when reading out aloud?

3.  Model to the students how to save their reading as an mp3 file. (FILE > EXPORT > Save as an mp3)

4.  Once students have saved their reading, get them to copy it and give to you. (You now have a reading sample analyse)

5.  Let the children play with the program by showing them how to change the pitch of their voice and how to add other effects.



  1. Bring students back to the floor (or other central area) and discuss their answers to the questions that you posed earlier.
  2. Ask if any students would like to share their work. (Another great opportunity to say “What was something that {NAME} did well and what could they do to make their reading even better?”)



  • Collect samples of reading and analyse.
  • If you have a reading test (such as a PROBE) then this will save you an enormous amount of time by getting all students to read their level and record it for you. Once they have finished, analyze the piece with a running record.




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