• PARENT TIPS and IDEAS to help with Reading

    Read Aloud Tips

    Reading Aloud

    How to Read Aloud

    Effective storybook reading is an interactive process.  If we wait until after reading to discuss the story, we are missing out on valuable literacy opportunities.  When you precede the reading by inviting predictions and personal connections, you are creating context for the reading.   Taking time to discuss and clarify difficult concepts during the reading can prevent misunderstanding further on, and encouraging your child to respond during the reading enhances both comprehension and interest in the story.  Pausing to confirm and revise predictions, ask questions, and make inferences lay the groundwork for independent reading. Your child will learn that understanding text is a process that occurs before, during, and after reading.


    Before Reading

    • Preview the book and practice reading it with fluency and expression.
    • Plan an introduction—find links to personal experiences.
    • Introduce the title, author, and illustrator.
    • Introduce any information that may be necessary to facilitate understanding of the story.
    • Set a purpose for listening to the story (e.g., “I wonder” statements, such as I wonder what the wolf wants to do with the pigs, provide us focus for listening).


    During Reading

    • Read fluently and expressively.
    • Hold the books so your child can see the illustrations.
    • Try to establish frequent eye contact with your child.
    • Draw attention to the illustrations and features of the text.
    • Pause occasionally to revisit predictions, express curiosity, or comment on something interesting.
    • Invite your child to question and comment but keep it focused on the story.
    • Explain words and ideas you think your child might not understand.


    After Reading

    • Allow time for discussion
    • Encourage various levels of response with questions
    • Make personal connections to the text (e.g. “What did this story remind you of?”).
    • Retell the story or reread it to enhance comprehension.


    Jamison Rog, Lori (2002). Early Literacy Instruction in Kindergarten.  Interactive Storybook Reading: Making the Classroom Read-Aloud Program a Meaningful Experience, 6, 49-55.



    literacy terms

    alphabet knowledge: recognizing letters of the alphabet.
    assessment: a way to evaluate reading development and proficiency.

    buddy reading: pairing a child from an upper grade with a younger child.


    choral chanting: the entire class, or a small group of children, reads a passage together.

    comprehension: the ability to understand and gain meaning from what has been read.
    concepts about print: knowledge about books: how to hold them, move from left to right, front to back.
    decoding: the combination of phonemic awareness, letter recognition, and sound knowledge that enables us to break down new and unfamiliar words.
    echo chanting: the teacher reads one line of text and the child then reads the same line.
    emergent reading: the time between birth and when children begin to read and write in conventional ways.
    encoding: the combination of phonemic awareness, letter, and sound knowledge that enables us to spell words by translating sounds into letters.
    fluency: the ability to read text accurately and quickly.
    language acquisition: the stages of listening and speaking development.
    language proficiency: the level at which a person can speak and understand a language.
    letter identification: recognizing the letters of the alphabet.
    letter-sound relationship: recognizing the letters of the alphabet and their accompanying sounds.
    mental imagery: the skill of visualizing what you see after you have been read to.
    partner reading: involves peers reading together.
    phonemic awareness: the ability to hear and identify sounds in spoken words
    phonics: the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.
    vocabulary: the words students must know to communicate effectively.