Blogger Erika Hogan

Once More, With Feeling: Read Aloud Fun

Round robin. Turn taking. When it’s time to read aloud, a lot of kids might look the other way in school. But in a library program, we can ask for volunteers. In read aloud book clubs, children benefit from listening and interpreting text whether they volunteer as readers or not. Even looking at the pages while someone else reads offers a new kind of experience and a taste of what grown up book clubs are all about: conversation and community. I’ve found the most success with strategies that lean into the fun, offering high appeal texts, especially those with lots of graphics on the page.

With tie-in activities, conversations, one minute dance parties, and next-month sneak peaks, there is a lot of joy at every meeting of the read aloud club. Basic questions can prompt thoughtful analysis of characters: Who did you like most? Do you have any friends that these characters remind you of? And making room to talk (not just read) benefits narrative and social skills as well as literacy. Encourage participants to make book selections and suggest read alike titles too- this deepens their skills and confidence at book talks and (bonus!) helps them identify what kinds of books they enjoy. This anchors the idea of reading as fun and prioritizes their opinions as valuable part of book selection process – for the win!

At school age book club visits I’ve seen quiet readers, fast readers, slow readers, and dramatic readers. I’ve also seen helpful readers who pause and sound out words together with classmates. The best part of read aloud book club? Seeing all the readers, of course!

Reading for pleasure is a great activity to foster with a drop in read aloud. Ready to try it out? Explore more ALSC read aloud tips, toolkits, and read aloud archive and take your read aloud to the next level.

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