When I first started thinking about a career with children, reading and literacy, I found the picture books and teaching tools by Mem Fox. I read her book, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, over and over. I listened to her recorded voice teach me how to read aloud in her online lesson. A small collection of books started to make their home on my shelf during my student years and I would think about how to pace the words, and imagine audiences of captivated faces and ears that wanted to listen. The message was clear to me that it was worth spending time with a child of any age, adding your voice to a story. I still believe this, and now talk to other adults about the value of doing so, too: whether teachers or parents.
The reason why I am currently thinking about this topic is because I am in ‘read aloud’ mode at the moment: guiding parents on a journey of reading aloud with their children in Grade 3 and 4. As referenced in my previous post, Engaging male role models for literacy, I am helping fathers and their sons read together. Reading aloud can seem too simple to be true and I have learned that it helps to demystify the process of what to do and how to do it. Teachers and librarians benefit from this, too.
I certainly benefit from reading our other blogger’s experiences on the AISL blog and want to share a few of my favourite resources for finding the perfect book, talking about reading aloud in a better way, and getting inspired to find new exciting connections to curriculum. I still return to Mem Fox but I have a few other tools in my belt these days that I hope you will enjoy:
- For lesson planning: Books Kids Will Sit Still For 3: A Read Aloud Guide, by Judy Freeman. Her advice for teacher-librarians is priceless: lesson and curriculum connections, information literacy skill development, and reviews of books that are cross-referenced with other books to build themes. A go-to reference tool.
- For reaching out to parents: Reading Is Fundamental’s brochure for parents on why and how to read aloud to their children, our students. I use this document as a reference tool when providing instruction for our Dads Read program.
- For ideas about what to read next: Barb Langridge’s uploaded TV appearances on WBAL-TV on Youtube. She was just recorded talking about the award winning books for this year, 2014. Many of the books reviewed by Barb make great read-alouds, for example: Ghost Hands by T.A. Barron, is one of the best books to read to Grade 4 and 5. Look at her website ABookandAHug, and search for read-alouds under ‘great read aloud’ in the search bar for her recommendations.
There are many wonderful reference tools for reading aloud to students in classrooms, at home and in public libraries. The above list is comprised of just a few of my current absolute favourites. I hope they help you as design programs and talk about reading with faculty and parents in the future and I would love to hear about your favourite books to read aloud!
Have a great day!