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Ed. 2500: Reading Aloud to your Class

Suggested materials for Education 2500 course

Some Good Read-Alouds

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5 Things to Remember Every Time You Read Aloud


EYE CONTACT: You MUST look up and make eye contact with your students in order to keep them engaged! Practice doing it as much as you can.

PACE: You are not reading to “get through” the text; you are creating an experience!!! Most readers start out going too fast. Slow down and enjoy the language.

PAUSE: Let the meaning soak in. Take a breath and look at the children. Pausing is highly effective.

EXPRESSION: Add some variety to your pitch and pace. Author Mem Fox (2001) describes expression as vocal gymnastics: high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow.

ARTICULATION: You’ll want to model good speech while also making sure students hear all of the words clearly.

INVOLVEMENT: It is OK to pause and point out aspects of the illustrations, or to ask some questions. Open-ended questions (what do you think about…., What do you think might happen…) will require the deepest thinking. Respect the flow of the story and look for good places to pause. 



Mem Fox. Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. Harcourt, Inc: San Diego, CA. 2001.  Retrieved from

How to Read Aloud to A Classroom of Children

  1. Choose a story that you like and are comfortable with. Children can tell when you are having fun reading a story.
  2. Choose a book that is large enough in size to share with a group. Smaller sized books are appropriate to share one-on-one with a child, but not with a larger group. Your local public librarian can be a great source for book suggestions.
  3. Choose a book that has large, bright and colorful illustrations that complement and relate to the story.
  4. Read the story silently to yourself several times before reading it out loud to a group of children. Practice reading it out loud to yourself first. Look for spots in the story where you can ask kids to join you. (i.e. Perhaps the story has a repetitive refrain that the children could join you in saying).
  5. Hold the book out to the side as you read it, but turn your body to the side so that you can still see the words and the children can see the pictures.
  6. Don't rush through the reading experience. Rather invite the kids to comment on the story and its illustrations as you read it.
  7. Vary your voice volume and tone throughout the story. Use character voices if you are comfortable doing so.
  8. Use fingerplays and rhymes to break up the storytelling experience into smaller segments.
  9. Visit your local library and watch a story hour in order to get ideas for your own storytime programs. Or invite the librarian to do a storytime.


Source: “A Library Head Start to Literacy: The Resource Notebook for the Library-Museum-Head Start Partnership” By Virginia H. Mathews and Susan Roman. Published by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, 1999.  

Retrieved from


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