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When to Read Aloud


Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, a report developed by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) and funded by the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL), tells teachers to "Read aloud daily to your students." Reading to children, the report says, "increases their knowledge of the world, their vocabulary, their familiarity with written language ('book language'), and their interest in reading."

But when will you find the time?

More Read-Aloud Resources

For more read-aloud resources, be sure to see the Education World Strategy of the Week, Reading Aloud.

Read aloud for five minutes at the beginning of the day. This is a good time to read a short poem or another short text, perhaps a picture book, essay, or passage from a classic novel. No teaching allowed! Use these few moments only to expose students to good literature.

Read aloud during reading time. Demonstrate fluent reading by taking a turn yourself reading aloud from the student text. Then invite students to participate in a round robin to complete the reading selection. Or choose a Reader's Theater script and participate in the reading with your students.

Read aloud during a writing lesson. Read a short story or a chapter from a longer book and invite students to write about the selection. Then read aloud some of your students' writings.

Read aloud during content area subjects, such as social studies, science, or math. These are perfect opportunities to introduce students to expository texts and to teach them a variety of comprehension strategies. Consider also reading aloud such informational texts as newspaper or magazine articles or editorials.

Read aloud at the end of the day. Take 15-20 minutes at the end of every day to read aloud a chapter from a well-written grade-appropriate novel or chapter book. Make the books available in your classroom library, if possible, to encourage students to read the book on their own as well.