Reading aloud should be fun and interactive. Ask your child questions during the book, like “what do you think will happen next” and make personal connections, “remember when,” that create a context for reading. This sets your child up for success—even adults need to understand the context of reading materials in magazines and newspaper articles.
Laying groundwork for future independent reading is done when you first read aloud to your children: pause to confirm and revise predictions, ask questions and make connections. This teaches your child that understanding text is a process that occurs before, during and after reading.
Choose books you or your child can get excited about reading. There are so many books out there, don’t spend time reading ones you won’t enjoy!
Read with fluency and expression. Children need to hear changes in your voice to indicate when you are reading dialogue. Vary your pace, too. Slow down to build up suspense and speed up during exciting scenes.
Sometimes a book will pique curiosity and lead to questions and conversation afterwards, sometimes not. It’s ok either way!
Reading aloud is a great time to enjoy books together. The increased vocabulary, correct grammar and comprehension will come naturally. Soon enough, it will be your child’s turn to say “all by myself” and read these books to you. Then, it will be the chapter books and “just one more chapter before I go to bed, please?” Way to go mom and dad, you’re building a strong foundation of readers who WANT to read when YOU read aloud today.
Jamison Rog, Lori (2002). Early Literacy Instruction in Kindergarten. Interactive Storybook Reading: Making the Classroom Read-Aloud Program a Meaningful Experience, 6, 49-55
Trelease, Jim. The Read Aloud Handbook. New York: Penguin, 2006.