Growing Readers: Learning to Love Reading and Writing Column 30
This editorial article was written by Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed.
How To Encourage Kids To Practice Reading Aloud
The Children’s Book Review
Reading aloud to children is incredibly beneficial—it boosts vocabulary, builds a love of reading, and creates a stronger bond between adult and child, but did you know that having your child read aloud is also beneficial? Once a child becomes a fluent reader (can read smoothly without pausing to decode each sound/word consciously), practicing reading aloud can boost confidence and self-esteem, comprehension, reading stamina, and even a love of reading. Here are a few fun ways to encourage your child to read aloud.
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To get kids excited about reading and reading aloud have them record themselves reading their favorite part of a book, passage, or article. They may want to recommend the book, share their reading goal and action steps to achieve that goal, or even pose some discussion questions for a potentially shared reading experience like a book club! This recording can be shared with friends and family to build connections over a shared love of reading and great books.
Read to Someone…or Something!
Another great way to practice reading fluency is to read aloud to someone or something. Siblings, stuffed animals, or even pets can be great audiences. Pets love to be read to! If you live in the Denver area, check out Second Star to the Right, one of our favorite local bookstores that has an opportunity to read aloud to their special dog, River!
Since reading aloud helps increase reading fluency, engaging in Reader’s Theater is another beneficial way to help learn how to read with emotion and expression, and to recognize punctuation.
Reader’s Theater is similar to a script for a play or movie. For more information on Reader’s Theater and access to free passages/scripts, check out Reading Rockets! Readers can take on various parts/roles and read alone, or they can read to a pet, stuffed animal, or family member. Readers can also gather some friends or family to put together a performance! This experience can be extended by putting together a whole performance, including creating a set, costumes, and so on, or sitting around the family dinner table and taking turns reading parts. There is so much fun to be had when engaging in Reader’s Theater!
I love encouraging kids to read various genres, and when it comes to building reading fluency, reading poetry is a great way to do this. Laura Hancock from the Literacy Junkie Blog writes, “Poetry has melody, rhythm, pacing, and pitch that supports building fluency skills, especially prosody (expression, automaticity, and comprehension). Building fluency with poetry inspires and delights not only struggling readers but all readers.” Be sure to check out the Poetry Foundation’s website for resources, and The Children’s Book Review for great book recommendations.
Thank you for reading the Growing Readers: Learning to Love Reading and Writing column. Bookmark this Growing Readers Column link or subscribe to our e-newsletter so you do not miss out on the monthly reading tips. How To Encourage Kids To Practice Reading Aloud was written by Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed.—follow her on Instagram: @wildflower_learning_denver.