Teaching Tip: Reading Aloud to Students

Reading aloud to your students is an engaging, community-building activity. But how can you keep students' attention focused on what you're reading? Here are some tips.
  • Allow students to draw pictures relevant to the material while you're reading. Hands are kept busy and minds are kept engaged on picturing the topic.
  • Stop frequently to ask questions about the reading. "Why did the character do that?" "What was he thinking?" "What would you have done?"
  • Ask questions that make students think through the story as an author would. "What do you think is going to happen next?" "How would you end the story if you were the author?" "Would you introduce any other characters or plotlines?"
  • Stop occasionally and ask a student to summarize the story so far. Having students putting it in their own words helps students "own" the material. Allow other students to add to the summary. Point out how each student remembers different details.
  • Most importantly, read with passion and enthusiasm. Your voice reflects your emotions. If you read with interest and excitement, you're more likely to engage your students' attention.
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