Tips for Reading

court house picTips for Reading Aloud to Children:

  • Seat children on the floor close to you, making sure everyone can see the illustrations.  Choose a low chair or stool to sit on while you read, holding the picture book close to the children’s eye level.
  • Hold the book with your left hand at the center bottom; turn pages with your right hand.
  • If book is new, press pages open flat before beginning.  Hold book 12-15″ from your chest out to left side of your body with top of book in line with your chin.
  • Before you begin reading, allow a few moments for your listeners to settle down and adjust their minds to the story.
  • Introduce the story — a simple statement of what the book is about; relate the story to some recent experience.
  • State the title of the books.
  • Read with feeling and enthusiasm; use plenty of expression.
  • Adjust your pace to fit the story — read faster for exciting action, slower for quieter passages.  Pause periodically.
  • Define new words (if needed) without interrupting the flow of the story.
  • Maintain eye contact with the children.  Glance up a the end of a sentence.
  • Evaluate while you read — are the children interested?  Are you reading too slow or too fast?  What about your phrasing, tonal quality, volume?
  • When story is finished, allow time for the children to discuss the story.
  • Add extra dimension to the book whenever possible through such activities as finger plays, action rhymes, finger puppets, puppet mitts, puppets, draw-and-tell stories, cut-and-tell stories, songs, crafts, and flannel board stories.

17 Good Reasons for Reading Aloud to Your Child:

  1. Creates an interest in books and a desire to learn to read.
  2. Develops a taste for fine literature (high literacy and artistic quality).
  3. Expands vocabulary; provides opportunity for children to hear, understand and adopt new works; hear familiar words used in new contexts.
  4. Develops listening skills.
  5. Familiarizes children with the “sound” of written language; they gain some sense of the relationship between oral and written language.
  6. Encourages children to see reading as a pleasurable experience and books as a source of delight.
  7. Broadens children’s experiences to things they might not have the opportunity to do or to places they have not been.
  8. Introduces children to and prepares them for new situations they are likely to encounter (e.g. a new baby in the family, moving to a new neighborhood).
  9. Teaches that all people share similar feelings and needs and that other children have similar experiences (e.g. starting school, having a birthday party).
  10. Allows children to imagine, dream and laugh.
  11. Helps children learn new ideas, concepts and information.
  12. Provides opportunity to learn group skills (taking turns, sharing, respecting rights of others, contributing to discussion).
  13. Fosters motivation, self-esteem and self-confidence.
  14. Improves comprehension and visual skills; increases attention span.
  15. Teaches concepts about “story” (beginning, middle, end; characters; plot; setting).
  16. Teaches concepts about print; printed words have meaning; spoken words can be printed; pictures go with words; spaces between words; signals/punctuation marks and capital letter help reader know when to start, pause, and stop; pages have numbers; we read from left to right and top to bottom; read from bottom of one page to top of next; turning pages from front of book to back.
  17. It’s FUN for the reader and the listener.