At LitWorld, we believe that you are never too old to enjoy a read aloud. Not only does reading aloud help you create warm and special family memories, it also demonstrates good reading habits to up and coming young readers. Here 5 tips for an engaging read aloud and 5 books that we love to read aloud!
1. Choose a book with relevant themes.
Children feel all emotions deeply. The best part about a good picture book is that under the seemingly simple story runs a deeper theme that can often open up larger, important discussions. If you notice your child is trying to make sense of a new experience, positive or negative, use your read aloud time as a pathway to discuss what your child is going through. Try "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes. This book is about a mouse named Chrysanthemum who learns that being different is something to be celebrated.
2. Choose a book with repetition and rhythm.
Familiar rhythms embedded in a text make reading aloud a soothing and relaxing experience for your child. Many books use repetition to allow children who cannot yet read independently to participate in the read aloud and develop a love of language. Try "Blueberries for Sal" by Robert McCloskey. This book, about a girl named Sal who goes on a big adventure while blueberry picking with her mother, comes alive during a read aloud with its use of sound imagery.
3. Choose a book with great illustrations.
Good readers study illustrations and images as closely as the words on a page to make sense of what they are reading. By choosing a book with stimulating visual images, a child can practice visual literacy. Each page offers a wonderful, teachable moment in which to pause and talk about what is happening in the story. Try "Sleep Like A Tiger" by Mary Logue, Illustrated by Pamela Zagarensky. The warm images of this book are filled with details perfect for talking and lingering.
4. Choose a variety of texts.
A meticulously woven tale of adventure, a beautiful poem, a thought provoking article, lifelong readers enjoy all of this and more. It is important to see your read aloud time as an opportunity to widen your child's perspective. By choosing diverse texts to read aloud, a child will appreciate different forms of writing that he may never have explored on his own. Try "Actual Size" by Steve Jenkins. This book contains a wealth of information about the animal and plant world and the interactive illustrations will have kids going back for more.
5. Choose a book you've read before.
You've probably noticed that your child requests the same read aloud over and over again. This is a great habit to cultivate! Good readers often re-read texts, thereby increasing reading fluency and deepening comprehension. Don't hesitate to encourage your child to engage with the same text multiple times and encourage a deeper understanding of the text by asking questions about the story that leads to different interpretations. Try "The Gift of Nothing" by Patrick McDonnell. Ponder over the meaning of friendship with Mooch as he searches for the perfect gift for his best friend, Earl.