This blog post title may have instantly conjured images of a parent reading a bedtime picture book to their toddler. And that’s okay! Reading to our children from a very young age is the cornerstone of early literacy and creates a foundation for the love of reading and learning for their lifetime.
What may not have come to mind is the proficient, independent, school age reader being read to aloud.
Oral reading is a great technique to continue building foundational literacy skills, regardless of age. Reading aloud exposes children to different kinds of text structures and language, builds awareness of how sounds are connected to words, and demonstrates phrasing and fluency.
In a classroom setting, oral reading by an educator has a very special component: all children have access to the story equally, regardless of their reading level.
Reading comprehension is increased after hearing the words being spoken with the correct speed, tone, expression and accuracy.
Reading aloud to children can also increase their listening comprehension, vocabulary, syntactic development, and word-recognition skills.
Check out this librarian approved book list of books to read aloud to upper elementary children.
For further reading, check out this article from Common Sense Media
Gewertz, C. (2015). Teachers Turn to New Read-Aloud Strategies For Common-Core Era. Education Week, S2-S3.
Lane, H. B., & Wright, T. L. (2007). Maximizing the effectiveness of reading aloud. Reading Teacher, 60(7), 668-675. doi:10.1598/RT.60.7.7
VOSTAL, B. R., & LEE, D. L. (2015). EFFECTS OF ORAL READING FLUENCY ON STUDENTS WITH EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS’ LATENCY TO CONTINUE READING. Reading Improvement, 52(3), 112-125