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Tips for Reading Books Aloud
Edited from Gateways to Early Literacy

I'm listening to Gramma read Ranger Rick magazine to my 6yr old. She's a teacher, so reading aloud comes very naturally to her. But it's not easy or natural to everyone, so I thought I'd share some tips that I compiled for a publication I wrote a few years ago.

  • Let your dramatic side flare by using a variety of voices, tones and volumes to reflect the characters and storyline.
  • Point to the pictures and words as you read the text.
  • As you repeat favorite stories, invite children to ‘fill in the blanks’ with key story words.
    Ask questions as you read, such as “What color is that car?” “How many ladybugs do you see?” or “What’s going to happen next?”
  • 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.
  • Follow the cues of the children to respond to their age, background and any other individual characteristic or challenges.
  • Use props, costumes, or music to make the story come alive. You could even wear a crazy hat or dress up as a storybook character.

Click here to read the free e-book, Reading for Life, a list of 64 preschool books that promote healthy child development. If you like it, I hope you'll share it with teachers and friends. This is one component of the work I do with the Center for Asset Development teaching schools, churches, and youth organizations about character, service-learning, youth leadership and teambuilding.


Sarah said…
Very good tips! I for one have always had a flair for the dramatic...haha. My family actually thinks I'm a little weird, I think. ;)
These are excellent tips for reading aloud. As a children's author I am called upon to read aloud to classrooms at schools. These tips will help me prepare.

I think we all have happy memories of being read to, at least I hope so.

Thank you for this wonderful article.

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