Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Discovery Through Read Alouds

Reading aloud to children is so important for their literacy development. During read alouds you are modeling so much. For instance, you are modeling how to hold a book, how to read from left to right, how to read with inflection, how to ask questions and reflect on what you have read etc. There are countless things children pick up on before, during, and after reading a book. Here are a few things to consider when reading with a child.

Before Reading:

Look at the Cover: What do you see on the cover? What do you think the story is going to be about? How can you tell?

Talk About the Pictures and the Text: Flip through the pages and have the children tell you what they see. How is the text arranged? Do you think this will be a long story or a short story? Are there any words that you don't know?

During Reading:

Make Predictions: After reading a few pages, stop and see if the students can predict what happens next. See if the students recognize a pattern.

Synthesize and Summarize: Ask the children what has happened so far? This will help with comprehension. If some students are having trouble remembering, pair them up with another student.

After Reading:

Making Personal Connections: Have you heard a story like this before? Has something like this happened to you? What part of the story did you like? How did you feel during a certain part?

So pick up a book and start reading to your children and see what they discover!


  1. I really liked the part about "making personal connections." I think that it would be really helpful if the children were given the opportunity like this to really engage what was going on in the story and see that they can have a lot in common with the characters or the plot. I think that something like this would make for great conversation in the classroom.

  2. Reading seems like something easy and natural to do, but I think many of these points are overlooked. Instead of picking up a book and reading it through, taking these steps before reading can provide a much more enjoyable experience by giving the child the opportunity to give their input and understand key vocabulary from the story. There is nothing more exciting for them to have someone hear their excitement about something in a story or tell about their own experiences that relate to the story. Overlooking this connection is really sad and I believe it can even shut down a child from wanting to read when they are not allowed to speak their mind throughout the story.

  3. Great post. There are many teachers that feel story time only calls for the students to sit huddled together, be quiet, and listen to the teacher read. While respecting the reader by allowing her to finish the story allowed, and taking in the content of a book is important, story time should include more. It should be active. With out speaking up students can go away from story time uninvested and a little confused. Children should use their attention spans to vocally ask questions to comprehend the material from a book.