Ways of reading to children that encourage active participation and engender a love of books
Reading with children is a very special art. Some teachers are like pied pipers: As soon as they pick up a book, the children gather around them. Other teachers need to learn techniques for reading to children that will keep them interested and involved.
Here are some of the suggestions:
- Be sure to read the book to yourself before you read it with the children. That way, you can figure out how to introduce the book and how to keep the children engaged in it.
- With some books, you may decide to tell the story in your own words, rather than by reading the text. With other books, you may decide to begin by showing the children the illustrations and asking them to talk about what they notice.
- When you read with children, make sure to position the book so that everyone can see the illustrations. If some children want a closer look, pass the book around.
- It is especially important to read aloud with expression and enthusiasm. Vary your pitch, volume, and inflection to maintain the children's interest. Use different voices when they are appropriate for different characters.
- Don't be in a hurry. Encourage children to ask questions and talk about the story and the illustrations.
- Reread the books that children really enjoy. When a book has a refrain, encourage the children to join in. If some children have memorized the book, give them a chance to "read" along with you. Try hesitating in the middle of a line and seeing if the children can finish it.
- Encourage children to guess how the book will end.
- See if the children can think of a different ending for the story.
- Let the children retell the story in their own words, act out the story, or draw pictures about the story.
- When you finish reading a book, place it on a low shelf where the children can reach it.
- Make books with the children, and encourage them to read those books to you.
- When reading with babies or toddlers, choose a time when you can be with just one or two children and can hold them on your lap. Choose sturdy books with a lot of pictures that the children can point to or with different textures that the children can feel. Stop when the children lose interest.
- Let the children choose the books they would like you to read aloud with them.
© ______ 2006, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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