Reading Aloud To Children 2

7 thingsLast week l wrote a post about the importance of reading aloud to your children. If you would like to read some more about the topic, click on the picture. The ‘7 things’ suggested by the author of the post are: 1. Read the Title, Author’s Name, and Illustrator’s Name, 2. Ask Your Child to Make Predictions, 3. Ask Your Child What Is Happening In the Pictures, 4. Move Your Finger as You Read, 5. Ask Questions, 6. Reread the same books again…and again…(and again), and 7. Really enjoy the book with your




Here is a link to a visual guide for parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Reading Aloud To Children

Reading aloud to children is important because it helps them pick up information and skills reading in bedthey need including:

  • The link between spoken and written words.
  • The meaning of words.
  • The difference between book language (e.g. Once upon a time…) and everyday conversation.
  • The pleasure of reading.

Children’s reading experts agree that reading aloud is the easiest and most effective way to turn children into lifelong readers.

A child whose day includes listening to rhyming stories, funny stories and rhythmic stories is more likely to grow up loving books. And a child who loves books will want to learn to read them.

Continue reading aloud after your children can read. All readers will enjoy listening to books that they can’t yet manage on their own.

Set aside a special time every day to read aloud to your children. Before bedtime is a popular time, but do whatever works best for you.

As you read aloud, encourage your children to participate. Invite them to describe pictures, read bits they remember, or guess what will happen next. Dramatize roles in the story with them.

Vary what you read, returning to old favourites, and introducing your children to new lots-of-books-image-ok8axu.jpgstories.

Give books as presents and rewards. Libraries are a great source of a variety books.

There are many lists of good books for children. 

happy book

happy book happy book

Click on any picture in this post to take you to titles of good books to read aloud.

Some of you will be able to read and share stories in more than one language!



writing2Every day the Reading Recovery student is asked to compose (make up) a sentence that can be recorded by writing it in his / her writing book.

I begin a short, but real conversation with the student that captures his / her attention and interest. I might link back to previous writing or familiar texts, e.g.

  • Yesterday you wrote about the fireworks. Tell me more about the noise and how you felt.
  • What happened to Mother Bear’s red scarf in this story?

The student must compose his / her own message (sentence) in order to relate to it. If I take over and compose the sentence myself, there is less chance that the student will be able to remember it as he /she is writing it, rereading it, and unjumbling the cut up version.

I keep the conversation going by asking for, or giving, more information (if the student is not saying much), or restricting the information (if the child keeps changing the topic, or retelling the whole book).

After the conversation, the student is invited to create the message. I might thinkingask- “What can we write about that?” This is asking the student to think about the ideas that we talked about, and to shape this into a sentence.

If the student needs more assistance to begin composing I might suggest- Could you start:  When l was…  ?  The wind blew…?

Early in the series of lessons, the student’s sentence is not changed. If the student needs to work on grammar issues, I use the correct use of language  during the conversation with the child,

e.g. Student- The wind blowed the scarf.

Me- You’re right. The wind blew the scarf when Mother Bear went inside.

pencil(At this stage the student is learning to match what he / she can say with the words on the page. There is no point in changing the grammar if the student does not pick up my correct version. He / she is going to ‘read’ it the way the student says it.)

In later lessons, I may suggest how a sentence might have some more ideas added, or be changed in structure, but only if the child can manage the change.

During the early lessons I have the child say the finished composition several times before writing it in order to remember it. In later lessons the child may compose, write, and then add on more information.

Some ways to help with reading

Be positive. Praise your children for trying. Let them know it’s OK to make mistakes. We learn by trial and error.boy and girl

Be aware of distractions. Turn off the TV! It’s easier  to concentrate on reading if there are no distractions.
Give them time. Let them make a guess before you tell  the word. Then give a prompt to try something. (See Wait timeSolving Tricky Words, Useful Prompts)
Point with a finger. Encourage them to follow the words with a finger- if they are only looking at the pictures, or if they are adding / leaving out words.
Don’t make them try too hard! It does not matter if you have to tell them the word sometimes.
Let them read their favourite books. It’s good practice to read the same books over and over again. (See Familiar Reading.)
Ask questions. Check they understand the story by asking them questions about what happens. Use the pictures to explain what’s happening. (See Useful Promptsscroll down to Comprehension. Book introductions.)

Don’t read for too long. An agreeable ten minutes is better than a difficult half hour.

Follow the links if you would like some more information.