Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tips on Tuesday: 5 Ways to Keep Read Alouds Effective, Fun and Engaging

Tomorrow is National Read Aloud Day.  Here are some tips on how to keep your kids engaged and happy during your special read aloud time!  

1.  Turn off and remove all distractions.  Cell phones, TV's and video games should be far from story time!

2.  Vary your voice throughout the story.  You don't have to go crazy with squeaky voices or scary monster voices.  Try these:
            * Switch your voice from high to low
            * Speak softly and then loudly, depending on the text
            * Speak quickly and then slowly
            * Pause or drag out words or phrases to emphasize important parts of the book, especially the
               first and last sentence of the book!

3.  Pay attention to gestures while you are reading.  Use hand motions to help describe words, raise eyebrows dramatically when you are reading something surprising and remember to smile or frown at appropriate points in the story.

4.  If you have active little hands and bodies during reading time, don't assume that the children aren't listening.  Allow them to color, play with play-do or fiddle with a small, quiet toy.

5.  Make connections throughout the story to keep students engaged.  Connect events in the story to life events, events occurring in other stories or personal experiences.  For example, when reading The Three Little Pigs, ask a question like, "Has a stranger ever knocked on your door?" or "What kind of house do you live in?"

Happy reading!!

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