July 26, 2010

Why Read-Alouds are more than reading aloud

Photoxpress_360306 I am most often the read-aloud person in our home.  On occasion, Michael the oldest, will read with me and “do voices”.  We just finished the Fablehaven Series on Thursday night.  Michael really wanted us to experience Far World next, and he wanted to be the reader. 

This morning Mason (age 9) and I were playing chess.  I asked him about the chapter his older brother had read aloud last night to him and his sister.

He proceeded to give me lots of details including how a huge snake chased a cow into a cave but it got away because the cow could somehow turn into liquid.  He told me all about the characters describing scars, their voice, the atmosphere, etc. 

I had previously read the first few chapters of this book and didn’t recall anything about a cow or anything that turned into liquid.  I told my oldest son what Mason had shared.  He grinned from ear to ear and quoted parts of the book. 

“Her milky-white eyes – interested, but not yet frightened –slid open as she tilted her head, listening.”


“ ‘Boo!’ The snake said, and the ishkabiddles’s muscles turned to water.”

Can you see where he got his ideas?

This just makes me crack up because I have seen this time and time again.  Children tag things they hear to things they know the best they can.  Sometimes things like figures of speech, metaphors  and other descriptors can give them a completely different idea of what is being presented.

For this reason, when I read aloud, I ask questions and define new vocabulary.   I stop and point out figures of speech and ask them what they think it might mean.  After I’ve given them the new information, I reread the sentence and they get a new understanding. This is a necessary part of reading comprehension development.  Read-Alouds are indeed more than reading aloud.

I absolutely LOVE read-aloud time – giggles and all.  Don’t you?

1 comment:

  1. I agree 'doing the voices' make it such fun! Great tips for making it fun AND learning (without the children even knowing it!)


Thanks for visiting our blog. Feel free to leave me a comment.