Even though I love (and the kids love) our history curriculum this year (Winter Promise's Hideaways in History), for a 5- and 7-year-old, even the 2-page read-aloud lessons can seem to drag on at times.
Sometimes the meat of the main idea gets lost in their minds among the names and dates and other details.
To make sure they get the main idea out of some lessons, I came up with the idea of having them draw things they heard me talk about.
Mr. Tinker prefers to draw a grid at the start of the lessons and draws a picture in each box as I read along.
At the end, they can recite the main points of what I've talked about by following along their pictorial hints. These also make nice additions to our notebooking!
(This could easily be applied to any other read-aloud lessons in other subjects....or even fictional storytime.)