Read Alouds = Love

I LOVE READ ALOUDS! I love reading aloud. I’ll read aloud to my class of 6th, 7th, or 8th graders. I read aloud to my pre-schoolers. I read I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems to my dogs, but I’ll get to that in a minute. There’s just something about reading the text out loud and being able to share a favorite book with others that’s fantastic. I don’t understand why as a society we automatically think because our students are out of elementary school they don’t need or are too old for a read aloud. You are NEVER too old! There is definitely a benefit to reading aloud to middle school students. As a teacher you have more life experience to apply to the story and give the character a voice (Ivey, 2003). This is one of my favorite things to do when reading aloud to students. It’s captivating to see 6th graders so attentive and into a story. Their reaction and excitement to see their teacher create voices for a story is priceless. As Ivey (2003) mentioned, using a read aloud to introduce a book to your students or introduce a unit is one way to get their attention. This creates interest and the feeling of wanting more. Many times when I do a read aloud and read the first sentence, or even the first chapter, students are intrigued and wanting more. Even though we can say “don’t judge a book by its cover” a million times, what’s the first thing my students do? Pick up the book, glance at the cover, (some actually read the back) and then either decide they like it or put it back. With a read aloud you dangle a precious piece of the story in front of them, hoping they’ll bite. And most of the time with a great read aloud, they will.

(I couldn’t resist this!)

For example, and maybe it’s just Mo Willems, I Broke My Trunk! is something I would read to my middle schoolers. They would eat it up, just like my dogs. (Okay, maybe my dogs were more amused with how I was acting…)  I wouldn’t even have to finish reading it, just start it and I guarantee it’d be picked up as soon as I set it down. I think any of Mo Willems books are excellent for read alouds. I am in love with the pigeon! 🙂

There are so many ways to use read alouds in the classroom: for fun, information, modeling, and to get students interested. One way I have used it in my classroom is allow a student to do a read in front of their peers. They wanted to participate and volunteered willingly. It was also great practice for reading fluency and inflection. This is something that would be excellent to incorporate into book talks. After watching/listening to Neil Gaiman read The Graveyard Book, I did a little exploring online to find some websites with read alouds. Here are a few I found:

(so this one is not necessarily read alouds, but it does have celebrities reading posters, like the one above)

Makes me wonder what would happen if they were able to get Justin Bieber on a read poster…


Ivey, G. (2003). ‘The teacher makes it more explainable’ and other reasons to read aloud in the intermediate grades. Reading Teacher, 56(8), 812.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. michellemoffitt
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 08:13:45

    I am so glad to hear that you take advantage of reading aloud to your middle school students. I think more middle and high school teachers should participate in reading aloud. I love your glog on Go To Sleep Pigeon. I have read a couple of his books, but I am hooked on his books now. I hope to do an authors study using his books next year. I also like the idea that you explored some online read alouds. I had never heard readtomelv. I explored it some and I plan to use it next year too. I usually read several of the books. My kids love Fancy Nancy books and the vocabulary is great. Another one I use is Dr. Moorman showed it to us in one of his classes, and Barnes and Noble has a read aloud for kids too. I have never looked at Amazon, but you would think that they would have a read aloud section too. I’ll have to explore. I bet your kids would love The Graveyard Book.


    • lenasprinkle
      Jun 25, 2012 @ 12:50:35

      I think doing an author study on Mo Willems with kinders would be fantastic! The’y’re sure to love it.
      I’m glad you shared the storyline online! I had found a site that was related to this, but I couldn’t ever find the stories, just things about the actor’s guild. I’m so glad you mentioned doing The Graveyard Book as a read aloud. I had thought about it, but didn’t mention it. (It’s been a long week!) I do think it’d be neat to let them listen to Neil Gaiman reading his book. Having celebrities or authors read aloud books to the students gives variety as well as hopefully the thought that “everyone reads.”


  2. gingerlanders
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 22:15:54

    Reading aloud is a great way to share enjoyment of reading with students. I love when students chose to read the same books that have been read aloud to them. They just love those connections you make when reading to them.

    I agree that children of all ages can benefit from the read aloud processes. It’s sad that many elementary and high school students do not include that into their lessons.


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