Reading aloud does not always come naturally to adults, but we all know that children absolutely adore being read to. Modelling good reading skills allows kids to learn how to read themselves. Check out some of the hints below from Mem Fox’s read aloud webpage. Head to her website for more detailed hints on how to read aloud, and to help you feel more comfortable and confident. The website if full of great ways to help teachers, parents, children and writer’s develop their literacy and fall in love with reading.
Some of her hints include:
1) Try to read with as much expression as possible. Bring the book to life and encourage your child to LOVE reading!
2) Use body language, your eyes, your face and your voice. Your facial expression can convey as much as your voice.
3) Use intonation. Focus on the “ups and downs” and the rhythm of the story. Whisper…. snarl… narrow your eyes, widen your eyes, throw your hands up in glee!
4) Use pace and pauses to add suspense, drama and excitement. Go faster, slower…. pause….
5) If there’s repetition in the story, encourage your child to join in with you when you repeat the line.
6) Most of all, enjoy it! Reading is such a huge factor in our lives and a child who loves reading will find so much joy in their life.
Here’s a stat about the importance of reading and how it can assist with vocabulary. (Nagy & Herman, 1987)
Example A: Reads for 20 minutes each day = 3600 minutes in a school year = 1,800,000 words
Example B: Reads for 5 minutes each day = 900 minutes in a school year = 282,000 words
Example C: Reads for 1 minute each day = 180 minutes in a school year = 8,000 words