Tips for Reading Aloud
- Preview the book before you read it to children. This helps you spot material you may want to shorten, take out completely, or expand on.
- Think about your children (ages, developmental levels, interests) and what you want them to get out of the story. That will help you decide what questions you want to ask (or comments you want to make) and where (before, during, after the story).
- If it is the first time you are reading the book aloud, consider asking just a few questions, especially during the story, so that children get to hear the story with few interruptions.
Before You Read a Story
- Make sure everyone is comfortable.
- Show the cover and read the title and author of the book.
- Ask the children about the cover.
- Suggest things the children can look or listen for during the story.
- Ask some or all of the following questions:
- What do you think this book is about? Why?
- Where do you think the story takes place?
- Have you ever read anything like this before?
- Flip through the pages and point out the illustrations to the children. Make predictions based on what you both see in the book.
- Discuss things that the children might have in common with the characters or the setting of the story.
During a Story
- Change your voice to fit the mood or action.
- Move your finger under the words as you read them.
- Show the pictures and talk about the book as you read.
- Add information or change words to help kids understand more words and explain the meaning of a new word.
- Ask children to make predictions about the plot, the characters, and the setting.
- Share your own thoughts about the story.
- Allow children to ask questions or make comments.
- Follow the cues of the children to respond to their age, background and any other individual characteristic or challenges.
After You Read a Story
- Ask questions about the story. For example, you might ask some or all of the following:
- What is the title of the story?
- Who is the author? Illustrator?
- Where does the story take place?
- Who is the most important character? Why?
- What is the problem or conflict in the story? How is it solved?
- Does this book remind you of another book? Why?
- How did the story make you feel?
- Did the illustrations help tell the story?
- Has anything that takes place in the story ever happened to you?
- What is your favorite part of the story and why?
- Ask children to describe one of the characters in the story, or how they might feel or act if they were one of the characters.
- Extend the story with an activity or another book.
Tips by Topic:
- Choosing Good Books
- Creating Reading Spaces at Home
- Encouraging Struggling Readers
- Motivating Kids to Read
- Partnering with Teachers
- Reading Aloud
- Tips for Seasonal Reading
Source: Gateways to Early Literacy
Reprinted with the permission of Reading is Fundamental, Inc. ©2007 Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.
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