Discovering the Power Inside through Read Alouds

Read alouds are considered one of the most effective ways to promote reading in young children.  According to The Read Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease states that “Reading aloud to children stimulates their interest, their emotional development, and their imagination” and “awakens their desire to read, enlarges their lives, and provides a sense of purpose and identity for children.”  As a result of its value, you can see read alouds occurring in every classroom in this building.                                  The kindergarten and first grade students enjoy read alouds, but yearn to tell their own stories.     Trelease suggests that if you have a successful read aloud program, “the more they [children] hear other people’s words, the greater their desire becomes to share their own words.”  In an effort to improve the readers, the teacher gave them a recorder and headphones.                  They eagerly finished their journals in hopes of recording a story.  They all took turns reading stories and waited with mounting anticipation of hearing their friends read.  What happened next was amazing.  They laughed at their voices and chose to read the story again, but this time it was different.  They read with greater fluency. We saw students who were only comfortable reading shorter text read larger books because they were able to duplicate the phrasing that another child had used. They knew that they were reading better and wanted to do it each day.  Soon, Nohea began to report how well she read a book from home and wanted to share it with the younger students.  They all wanted to do something like that, so they wrote letters to the all the teachers in the building asking could they read for the younger students.  It is amazing how reading aloud can empower the most reluctant readers. 


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