If you’re new to reading aloud, or just want some refresher notes, I’ve got a list of tips that will help you make the most of the read aloud time with your kids.
Tips for Read Aloud Time with Kids
When you’re picking books to read, remember, there is no perfect book! And it helps if the kids get a voice in the decision. If you like, take turns who picks the book. Or just let the kids choose.
If you can, try to vary your books by genre and topic to expose your kids to new things.
However, I still prefer that kids choose. So if they don’t want to try a new genre right now, that’s okay.
2. Title, Author, and Illustrator
No matter what book you’re reading, start by reading aloud the title, the author, and, if applicable, the illustrator. This gets kids in the habit of paying attention to the creators of the book and remembering the name of the book.
3. Make a Prediction
Before you read, have your children make a prediction using the cover, title, and inside pages. Help them use these clues to make an educated guess what the story will be about.
4. Notice the Illustrations
As you read, stop and notice the illustrations. What details do the illustrations give you that aren’t in the text?
5. Read with Inflection
Read aloud with inflection. This models reading fluency! Try to create different voices for each character if possible. For picture books, it can be fun to read in silly voices. (It’s also a motivational idea for growing readers who might not always want to read aloud to you.)
6. Have Conversations
Reading with your kids is richer when it’s dialogic, in other words when conversations about the book occur between you and your child. So ask questions, pause to reflect on what you’ve just read, talk about how you relate (personal experiences) to what you read, and so forth.
Even if your children aren’t ready to discuss much of the book, YOU can still model how this looks with just a few sentences. For example, you might just insert comments like, “Wow, this reminds me of…” or “I wonder if…?” or “After reading this book, I think I’d recommend it to…”
7. Let Your Kids do Quiet Activities During Read Aloud Time
What can your kids do while listening to a book? So much! And for many kids, moving or doodling helps them concentrate.
build with blocks or LEGO
pretend play with small toys or figurines
sticker a sticker book
work on a puzzle
eat a snack
use stamps to make a picture
play with play dough
If you’re looking for how to make time for reading aloud, I have A LIST OF IDEAS HERE.
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