I really want to read aloud to my young adult students! How can I justify (or how do I convince my administrator) that it is a valuable use of instructional time?
From The Read Aloud Handbook, 6 th Edition by Jim Trelease: “Almost as big a mistake as not reading to children at all is stopping too soon.” p. 45
“Extensive research has proven that reading aloud to a child is the single most important factor in raising a reader. It is also the best kept secret in American education. This inexpensive and pleasurable fifteen minutes a day…. Is more effective than worksheets or any other method of reading instruction.” p. xii
“A common mistake among teachers is to relegate reading aloud to just the reading or language arts classes. Every teacher should be a role model for the standard language; it’s the first tool of the classroom. And when you promote a love of books within students, it affects every part of the curriculum.” p. 52
Becoming a Nation of Readers a 1983 study by the National Institute of Education states: “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children… It is a practice that should continue throughout the grades.”
We read to children for all the same reasons we talk with children: to reassure, to entertain, to bond; to inform or explain, to arouse curiosity, to inspire. But in reading aloud, we also: ◦ Condition the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure ◦ Create background knowledge ◦ Build vocabulary ◦ Provide a reading role model
R eading aloud builds community. “Shared experiences create memories that connect us to each other. Reading aloud… offers these unifying moments. While reading together, we laugh and cry together, comrades on the same journey. My students are a reading community, bonded to each other through the books we have shared, and these connections last long after the book ends.” (Miller)
Reading aloud exposes children to books, authors, or genres. If they like the book you read aloud to them, young adults will actively seek out similar books to read on their own (Miller).
Reading aloud reminds students why they love reading. “Reading aloud reminds children that reading is pleasurable, an activity they enjoyed before reading turned into a school chore” (Miller).
Mary Bowman-Kruhm, a faculty associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Professional Studies in Business and Education, teaches reading classes for prospective special-education teachers. "I read to my graduate students at the beginning of class because it gives them time to get settled and to clear their minds of the day's activities," she told Education World.
Included among the “Favorite Prereading Activities and Strategies for older Readers ”: ◦ Having the teacher read aloud a section or chapter from the book ◦ Having the teacher read aloud a few interesting pages from a book that you can read for yourself later.
Online Lists ◦ Read Aloud America ◦ Jim Trelease’s website ◦ Guy’s Read ◦ Reading Rants! ◦ American Library Association Recommendations from colleagues Ask a librarian!
Read the entire book yourself – know it! Try the language. Look for flow. VOICE! Be aware of your audience – emotional level. Find something they don’t already know. Look for humor, action, drama. Does it give you something to talk about? Choose books with male/female appeal. Enhance curricular goals or inspire meaningful extension activities.
Resources: ◦ Big Ideas in Small Packages: Using Picture Books with Older Readers by Molly Pearson ◦ Worth a Thousand Words: An Annotated Guide to Picture Books for Older Readers by Bette D. Ammon and Gale W. Sherman ◦ Using Picture Books to Teach Literary Devices by Susan Hall
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say (Multicultural, WWII, Immigration) I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat by Donald Hall (Writing Conventions – Voice) Starry Messenger by Peter Sis (Galileo, inventions, Italian Renaissance) So, You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George (Interesting facts about our past presidents) Goin’ Someplace Special by by by Patricia C. McKissack (Segregation)
Don’t have time for an entire novel? Try… Short Stories Newspaper Articles Reader’s Digest Mini-Mysteries Patrick McManus Chicken Soup For the Soul Anthologies such as: Read All About It! By Jim Trelease Tales From the Times (The New York Times)
Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers by Steven Layne
Time period Re-cap Author Info. Background Knowledge Discuss the issues Stop to clarify Editing for time/content Busy Hands Time to discuss Props? Make it fun! Be enthusiastic! Get into character Volume, pace Eye contact
“So, it's September again and you've got a bunch of eager, slightly frightened, kids in front of you. They're not sure what you expect of them and so they're carefully watching every move you make, every expression on your face. You're not too sure about them either. Every class is different. You don't know what they expect of you. So you're carefully watching every move they make, every expression on their faces. You want to show them that reading is an essential part of learning in your classroom. What do you do? You pick up a book and begin to read aloud.” Carol Hurst
Handouts will be made available on the Glacier High School Library homepage. Feel free to contact me: Kerrie More Glacier High School, Kalispell 758-8366 email@example.com
Works Cited Blessing, Candy. “Reading to Kids Who Are Old Enough to Shave.” School Library Journal April 2005: 44-45. Follos, Alison. “If Teens Want to Listen, Why Do We Shut Up?” School Library Journal October 2006: 57-60. Follos, Alison, M.G. “Teens Take Time to Listen When You Make Time to Read Aloud.” Voices of Youth Advocates February 2007: 499-503. Freeman, Judy. “Books Kids Will Sit Still For.”Curriculum Connection Fall 2006: 13-16. Guignon, Anne. “Reading Aloud—Are Students Ever Too Old?” 21 October 2005. Education World.http://www.education- Layne, Steven L.. Igniting a passion for reading: successful strategies for building lifetime readers. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers, 2009. Print. Lesne, Teri S. Naked Reading: Uncovering What Tweens Need to Become Lifelong Readers. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers, 2006. McElmeel, Sharron L. The Latest and Greatest Read Alouds. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc. 1994. Miller, Donalyn. “Never Too Old: Reading Aloud to Independent Readers.” The Book Whisperer Blog. Teacher Magazine. Accessed 17 April 2009 < http://blogs.edweek.org/eachers/book_ whisperer/2009/03/never_too_old_reading_http://blogs.edweek.org/ aloud_to.html.>. Sharpe, Wesley. "Reading Aloud--Is It Worth It?." Education World. 28 July 2009. Web. 12 Aug. 2013.. Trelease, Jim. The Read Aloud Handbook Fourth Edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1995.