Being a reading teacher, one of my favorite things to do is read aloud books to students but it almost felt like cheating to me. The kids would all join me on the floor, and I would read books for 20 minutes a day. We would have these awesome conversations, some laughs, and I could point out different features in the books. Although I absolutely love read-aloud books, I used to wonder if my 5th graders even benefited from this time.
How many times a year does this happen to you?
The lesson, activity or something unexpected happens during class time and you have to drop something that you were going to show students? Many times you think, I’ll get to that tomorrow and you may or may not. Typically, I would cut the read-aloud when I was short on time. More often times than not, the kids would notice and ask when we were going to read.
I recently did some research on read-aloud books and wanted to share some findings with you.
No matter what subject you teach, you can find books related to your content.
- It improves vocabulary. No teacher or parent will EVER say that their student/kid knows plenty of vocabulary. Just showing kids different words in text is simple. You can challenge kids to use the words in their conversations, writing, or with their peers.
- It improves comprehension. Another benefit that is just simple. Listening to someone read while pausing to ask questions can aid in comprehension for kids.
- It is wonderful for bonding. It never fails… when I just didn’t have in a class period, I would cut the read aloud time. The kids would always notice and ask me when we were doing to read.
- It provides modeling. Just modeling reading helps students with fluency and comprehension and seems effortless on the teachers end.
- It improves listening skills. Another wonderful and effortless benefit. Students no matter what age, love listening to someone read to them. This can help teachers as well when lessons are being taught.
- It is a way to discover the classics. Being in the classroom for a while, I definitely have my favorites. Showing kids that books might be older and students can still relate to the characters is magical.
- It helps with discussing difficult issues. Especially with older students, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to approach a difficult issue. Let books do this for you. Once you read the book, you can open up the floor for students to discuss their feelings and thoughts on a topic.
- It is a way to introduce different genres. Not only genres but different learning content can be introduced by books. No matter what subject you teach, there is a book for you.
- It can help you discover your kid’s interests. After reading books, students will oftentimes ask to read the book. You can then suggest other books that the author may have written or similar books. This is a great time to show students how to look up a book that sparks their interests.
- It can spark curiosity and a thirst for learning. When learning something new, students may realize that they want more information on a topic. Encourage students to dig in and learn as much as possible.