I love reading. I love reading aloud to children; but reading aloud is a learned skill and took me years to figure out. Here are some tips I find helpful when reading aloud to children. It is adapted from 10 Tips for Reading Aloud to Children by Usborne Books & More
- Remember: the art of listening is acquired; which means kids have to learn to listen. It doesn’t come naturally.
- The first time your read the book talk about the cover illustrations; this helps draw the listener in
- Read slowly enough for the listener to build mental pictures; but not too slowly or they’ll lose interest
- Use lots of expression, change your tone of voice and adjust the pace of your reading to fit the story; for example, if the story is sad, use a sad voice and read slower.
- If reading to one or two children, let them take turns turning the pages; this will not work with groups of children!
- Ask the child what they think might happen next; higher order thinking skill at work here
- When reading a favorite predictable book, pause and let the child provide the words; children love to fill in the words to Brown Bear Brown Bear…
- Reading a chapter book? Find a suspenseful spot to stop; this will add to the anticipation for the next read and help the child remember.
- Paper and crayons help keep active hands occupied while listening; I’ve not tried this but I’m open to trying it.
- Reading aloud doesn’t always come naturally. Practice makes perfect!
I’ll add another tip: When reading a story that has names in it, substitute the child’s name for the name of the child in the book. Watch the child’s eyes grow big as they listen more intently to their own story!
What tips do you have to add?
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