Tuesday, September 12, 2006


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.


Anonymous said...

I agree!!! I've found that my students start to imitate me. If I ask them to read out loud right after I've read to them, they read differently than if they just started out reading on their own.

I love read-alouds! What books have you had good success with?

MissDe (I can't comment as me until you upgrade to Beta)

Ruth said...

Hi Bridget,

Regarding Beta, I'm very scared to switch because I read so many complaints about it on other blogs. What do you think of it?

Read-alouds: with 7th grade I'm reading Edwige Danticat's Behind the Mountains. They are really enjoying it and relating to it, and there are many great things to discuss. With 8th grade I just finished Between Two Worlds by LeAnne Hardy. Again, the kids really related to this. When I was finished I asked them to write what they thought of it in their notebooks, and all but one said they really liked it.

How about you? Read-alouds that have gone well?