This year I am reading a book aloud to my 7th and 8th graders. I've already finished the first novel with my 8th graders and am now reading a few essays aloud before starting on another novel. With my 7th graders I've almost finished the first book.
I have often read things aloud to my middle schoolers in the past, and when I taught younger children I always had a read-aloud going, but this is the first time I have made reading aloud a regular part of every day. I take about ten minutes each day out of my precious class time and read a chapter of a novel.
I am completely sold on this activity for the following reasons:
1. They like to be read to. This helps reinforce the Reading = Pleasure equation.
2. We have something we've all read/heard that we can use as a basis for discussion. This supposedly happens when they are asked to read something on their own, and of course I still do require reading, but when I read it to them I know they all heard it. Reading assignments don't always get done. (Sorry if this is a shock to you.)
3. The students get to hear what good prose sounds like when it is read well. I work hard at reading the book clearly and with expression. Some of my students haven't been read to much at home, and the experience of hearing good sentences is very helpful to them when they start writing their own.
44 minutes ago