Read Alouds, They Are Pretty Awesome

One of my favorite parts of the day is read aloud.  It is also one of my students’ favorite parts of the day.  All in all, it’s a good part of the day.  We have read some great books and some good books, happy books and sad books, funny books and serious books.  We’ve read historical fiction, realistic fiction, nonfiction, literary nonfiction, mystery, and fantasy books.  I have had students keep reading a series that we started as a read aloud (The Giver).  I have had students love a book that no one initially wanted to read for book club (Chains).  I have had students go out and buy the book and read it on their own because they wanted to know what would happen next (Unbroken).  This class, we dig reading.

One thing I love about read alouds is the number of teachable moments that happen with them.  Character development? Check. Figurative language? Check. Imagery? Check.  So many authentic examples that we can talk about.  Today, the focus was foreshadowing.  Our unit is on diversity, so we are reading Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. There is a ton of foreshadowing in this book.  It happens at least once a chapter.  While I won’t point it out every time it appears in the book, it is very handy since my students are just learning about it.  Lots of opportunities for practice.  It’s so nice to read good literature together, talk about literary devices, and build community over a common story.  Read alouds, they are pretty awesome.

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6 thoughts on “Read Alouds, They Are Pretty Awesome

  1. Brian Rozinsky says:

    Just came across these lines in _To Kill a Mockingbird_ today: “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” (18) Sounds like read-alouds are great sources of love that you and your students notice, savor!

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  2. schmidtkristas says:

    Indeed, read alouds are pretty awesome. It makes me sad to hear teachers say they don’t really do those anymore, or they don’t have time for those, or those are for younger grades. My seventh grader has only had part of a single novel read aloud this entire school year. I love that you are able to find the value and joy of the read aloud with your class!

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  3. wonderingandwondering says:

    As a Kindergarten teacher, I read at least one if not more read alouds each and every day. I was sad to hear, at a recent EdCamp session, that even upper elementary grade teachers don’t feel they have the time to read even a chapter of a book to their students. How can that be? Good for you that you value this opportunity so highly. Read on!

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  4. strasskt says:

    As a first year homeroom teacher, I have also come to love our read aloud time together. I like how you described the various benefits of it. For me, it is also like live theater, a different experience than reading on your own, you and the class are an audience watching and listening together! Thanks for sharing and helping me to appreciate it even more!

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