Guest Author - Mary Ann Graziani
What is a read aloud?
A read-aloud is when a someone reads aloud a picture book, chapter book, poem, informational text, and the list goes on and on, limited only by the imagination of the reader. Children engage in the read aloud by listening to what is being read, looking at the pictures to go with the text, and making meaning of what they hear. Reading aloud to school-aged children is a fun activity, but it is also an important activity for reading and writing success. Children of all ages benefit and enjoy a read aloud-from preschool aged children to middle-school aged children.
Benefits of a read aloud
Reading aloud to children is enjoyable for both the reader and the listeners, and the benefits of reading aloud to children is so vast that it can be one of the most important activities a parent or teacher does with children.
Modeling good reading
One benefit is that reading aloud allows children to hear what good readers sound like. The reader can use the read aloud to model expression and fluency while reading and show how reading is an enjoyable activity that we can learn from.
Reading aloud can expose children to vocabulary words that they might not be able to read or know the meaning of if they were reading on their own. The reader has the opportunity to discuss these words with the children and explain their meaning. This exposure through a read aloud will improve the vocabulary of the student.
A read aloud is an interactive activity that helps students with comprehension. A Read aloud can teach children how to visualize, make predictions and inferences, and to share in questioning and discussion of the text being read.
A read aloud not only teaches children what good readers sound like and what they do to make meaning of what they are reading, it also teaches them what good writing is. The text being read can be used as a model for how to communicate effectively with words.
Motivation to read
Perhaps the most important benefit of reading aloud to children is that it motivates them to read on their own and fosters a love of reading. So, now pick up that book and find the time to read to a child. This will be time well spent for both you and the listener. You will both experience all the enjoyment and learning opportunities that reading has to offer.