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Make the Most of Reading Aloud
|Grades||K – 2|
|Tip Topic||Tips for Reading To or With Kids
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Why Use This Tip
When you read aloud to children, it starts them on the road to reading on their own. They study the pictures, the text, and make important connections: Those letters strung together on the page make words and sentences! And those words and sentences tell me what’s going on in this story! Later, they’ll recognize letters and words. Even children who are reading independently can benefit from hearing books read aloud, especially ones that they can’t yet read on their own.
Reading together exposes children to new words and new ideas. There’s plenty to talk about if you’re sharing a book. You’re also helping them develop skills they’ll need, like figuring out the point of a story or guessing what will happen next. And you can use books to introduce new topics or ideas.
- Talk about the book before you read it. Show the cover and ask the child what the book is about. Talk about the author. Flip through the book, look at the pictures together, and talk about what’s on the jacket flaps.
- While reading, stop and ask open-ended questions such as:
What do you think will happen next?
Why do you think the character did that?
What do you think is happening in the picture?
Has anything like this ever happened to you?
It’s OK (in fact, it’s great) if the child asks questions while you read. Stop and answer them.
- Read with enthusiasm and enjoyment—don’t be afraid to use funny voices or to read louder or more quietly as is appropriate. Show your silly side.
- Can the child read a little bit already? If so, take turns reading. You might also try letting the child finish sentences that you start. This works especially well if the book has a repeating or rhyming pattern.
- After you’ve finished, talk about the book and whether if reminds the child of other books you’ve read together. Ask the child for his or her opinion. Did the child have a favorite page? If so, feel free to read it again. Better yet, ask the child to read it to you!