On Feb. 1, 2019,World Read Aloud Daycelebrates the pure joy of oral reading with kids of all ages. Created by LitWorld, past years have found over 1 million people in 100 countries joining together to enjoy the power and wonder of reading aloud in groups or individually, at school or home, and discovering what it means to listen to a story told through the voice of another. For many, this is a rare opportunity to hear the passion of a well-told story and fall in love with tales where hearing them reaches listeners on a level nothing else can. Think back to your experiences. You probably sat with an adult, in their lap or curled up in bed. The way they mimicked the voices in the story, built drama, and enthused with you over the story and characters made you want to read more stories like that on your own. This is a favorite activity not just for pre-readers, but beginning and accomplished readers because it’s not about reading the book; it’s about experiencing it through the eyes of a storyteller.
Somehow, as lives for both the adults and children have gotten busier, as digital devices have taken over, as parents turned to TVs or iPads to babysit kids while they do something else, we’ve gotten away from this most companionable of activities. World Read Aloud Day is an opportunity to get back to it.
Importance of reading aloud
There is no more powerful way to develop a love of readingthan beingread to. Hearing pronunciations, decoding words in context, experiencing the development and completion of a well-plotted story as though you were there are reason enough to read aloud but there’s more. Reading in general and reading aloud specifically is positively correlated to literacy and success in school. It builds foundational learning skills, introduces and reinforces vocabulary,and provides a joyful activity that’s mostly free, cooperative, and often collaborative. Did you know reading aloud:
- Puts children almost a year ahead of those who do notreceive daily read-alouds regardless of parental income, education level or cultural
background. (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)
- Lets kids experience different worlds with differing cultures.
- Lets kids learn empathy by hearing how the characters reacted to pain and joy.
- Provides a storified way to unravel thorny problems and answer difficult questions.
- Teaches children strategies for dealing with stressful situations like a new sibling or the first day of school.
- Expands a child’s vocabulary by introducing them to new words that are defined in context (rather than learned from a word list), helping them decipher the nuances of synonyms — why “azure” is a better choice than “blue” or how “scooted” and “scrambled” provide a different image of how a character is walking.
- Exposes kids to different genres and authors that may get them into reading on their own. Who doesn’t have a story of a student who didn’t like reading until they discovered Goosebumps or Harry Potter?
- Builds a bond between reader and readee that starts with the shared emotion of the story.
- Teaches children how to sit quietly and listen while another is talking.
I know — you’re convinced but don’t know how to blend read-alouds into your busy classroom schedule. Here are some ideas, from a time commitment of a few minutes to a few hours:
Activities for your class
Have a library of books intended to be read aloud. These can be both print and digital, to fit all children’s reading preference. When you have classroom reading time, kids can pair up and read to each other.
Here’s a list of online sites with digital books that can be quickly accessed, mostly free, for this activity:
Teach students to read with their digital devices
Whether you have iPads, Macs, PCs, or Chromebooks, teach students as young as kindergarten how to access the book curation tool (such as iBooks, RAZKids, Kindle, or another) to find stories to read with each other. This is not necessarily intuitive, especially with the variety of reading apps and devices, often different between home and school. Most digital book readers include a read-aloud function that enables students to have a favorite book read to them. Sometimes it’s native to the app (like Adobe Acrobat/Reader) and other times it’s through the computers operating system (like Kindle’s iOS VoiceOver accessibility feature). Help students find this tool as well as other useful skills like how to turn pages, highlight favorite passages, add a comment, share ideas with other readers, save the page they’re on, and access the story/book from home as well as school. Which of these functions can be performed varies considerably with the reader being used. Become familiar with yours so you can share easily with students.
Read to each other
In this activity, students volunteer to read a story of their choice (approved by you) to classmates. This may be a ten-minute event that opens or ends the school day or an hour-long activity that occurs weekly or monthly. It may even be after school or in the evening. Pick a time that suits your student group and parents if you plan to include them. Here’s how it works:
- Post a sign-up (digitally or on the wall of your classroom) where students volunteer to read a (very) short story to classmates. This may be for World Read-aloud Day or any other day that suits your class environment.
- Students practice their story before reading to classmates. They want to be sure they’re animated, clear, and can pronounce all words well.
- Model how to speak to a group by showing students how you read without stopping, without funny movements or nervous giggles, and loud enough for all to hear. Also model how to be the reader’s audience — listeners respectfully pay attention, sit quietly without jiggling, and don’t interrupt with questions or comments.
- On the day of the event, students read to classmates in a comfortable setting. You may allow them to take questions but limit those to three.
- Parents and other grade-level classmates may attend!
Round Robin storywriting
As a class (or in small groups), sit in a circle and create a collaborative on-the-fly story by having each person add a sentence, one at a time, as you go around the circle. You might want to come up with a theme or a description of key characters before beginning to get everyone started. Depending on group size, you can assign tasks to each student beforehand and provide time to prepare. These would include developing a character, setting, plot point, problem, or ending. Each addition must build on the prior students’ storylines and characters
To extend this activity, record the story and use the recording in a writing activity where students write a story based on the Round Robin activity.
Have each parent commit to reading to their child on World Read Aloud Day. Have them take a selfie of the two of them and send it to you to be posted in a gallery. If a parent can’t, have available a group reading event (via a free virtual meeting tool like Google Hangouts or Skype) where you or another teacher will read a story to children on that special evening.
Skype with an author
Arrange with a children’s author to visit your class on World Read-aloud Day to read their book to the class. This is a great opportunity to blend all grade-level classes into one room. Usually, authors will take questions after the reading so have students prepared with queries that are appropriate to the class and author.
Children’s writer Miranda Paul, author of such wonderful books as Are We Pears Yet and I Am a Farmer, has offered to read to classes via a 15-20 minute Skype call.Check out this link. For longer lists, here are Scholastic authors who will Skype with your classroom and a list of Penguin Young Reader authors who Skype.
Join a Skypeathon
Join readers all over the world for a World Read-aloud Skypeathon. On this day, children worldwide will share the experience of reading aloud by reading to each other. You can take part by clicking this link to register your class. Each student will get a Certificate of Participation to applaud the part they played in sharing the love of reading aloud.
Need help organizing a Read-aloud activity?TheScholastic Book Fairs World Read Aloud Day kitis a wonderful guide for planning an event centered on family and parent engagement. Additionally, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science has this suggested list of STEM read-aloud books:
- A Chicken Followed Me Home,by Robin Page. Simon & Schuster, 2015.
- Feathers: Not Just for Flying, by Melissa Stewart (Illus. by Sandra S. Brannan.) Charlesbridge, 2014.
- High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs, by Lisa Kahn Schnell. (Illus. by Alan Marks.) Charlesbridge, 2015.
- One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia,by Miranda Paul. (Illus. by Elizabeth Zunon.) Millbrook, 2015.
- Raindrops Roll, by April Pulley Sayre. Beach Lane Books, 2015.
- Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes,by Nicola Davies. (Illus by Emily Sutton) Candlewick Press, 2014.
- Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree,by Kate Messner. (Illus. by Simona Mulazzani.) Chronicle Books, 2015.
- You Nest Here With Me,by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple. (Illus. by Melissa Sweet). Boyds Mills Press, 2015.
- Waiting for Ice, by Sandra Markle (Illus. by Alan Marks.) Watertown, MA Charlesbridge 2012.
- Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold, by Joyce Sidman. (Illus. by Rick Allen.) HMH Books for Young Readers, 2014.
For more ideas, download this World Read-aloud PDF.
— published first on TeachHUB
— image credit: LitWorld
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How do I create a classroom library checkout system?
Jacqui Murrayhas been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including aK-12 technology curriculum,K-8 keyboard curriculum,K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, anAmazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor toNEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers,To Hunt a SubandTwenty-four Days. You can find her resources atStructured Learning.
Another way to celebrate World Read Aloud Day is to invite parents or family members to come and read aloud to the class. You could do a few on February 1st or spread them out over the month. My students always loved getting to help their parents pick out the books to bring to read aloud to their friends.What do you do on world Read Aloud day? ›
The best way to celebrate World Read Aloud Day is to read a book to someone. Sharing a story is what the day is all about.Why do we celebrate world Read Aloud day? ›
The global effort, created by the non-profit LitWorld and sponsored by Scholastic, is celebrated annually in over 173 countries and is all about bringing people together through the shared connection of reading aloud in all of our communities.What is the theme for world Read Aloud day 2023? ›
On February 1, 2023, classrooms around the world will take time to celebrate and honor the power of reading and sharing stories and expand the scope of global literacy.How do Americans celebrate World Book Day? ›
Many schools have activities to commemorate the day like dressing up as a beloved book character or having designated reading time. Additionally, many people donate to charities to promote reading and accessibility to books.What students should do during read-aloud? ›
A good read-aloud is interactive. Involve students in the story by asking them the open-ended questions you prepared, modeling your thinking, asking them to identify letters or words they know, clapping or putting their thumbs up when they hear a special word or a rhyme.How do you engage kids in a read-aloud? ›
- Encourage the child to get involved in the story by describing pictures and making predictions.
- Ask questions that require more of a response than yes or no or nodding. ...
- Ask “what” questions. ...
- Follow the child's answer with another question.
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Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development. It is the single most important activity for reading success, providing children with a demonstration of phrased, fluent reading. Read-alouds reveal the rewards of reading and develop the listener's interest in books and desire to be a reader.What is 2023 the year of theme? ›
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About This Teaching Strategy
During a “think aloud,” the teacher reads aloud a section of a text, pausing every now and again to reveal what they are thinking about and doing in order to understand what they are reading.
What is the theme for World Book Day 2023? The theme for World Book Day 2023 is making it 'your' World Book Day. The National Literacy Trust said: "Since it was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland over 25 years ago, the day has grown to become an essential calendar fixture for schools, settings and communities.What not to do when reading aloud? ›
- Don't read stories that you don't enjoy yourself. ...
- Don't continue reading a book once it is obvious that it was a poor choice. ...
- Consider the intellectual, social and emotional level of your audience in making a read-aloud selection. ...
- Don't read above a child's emotional level.
- All reading is good reading. ...
- Find a comfortable space to read together. ...
- Slow down. ...
- Ask and answer questions together. ...
- Be yourself. ...
- Read ahead! ...
- Embrace wordless picture books. ...
- Don't worry about age or grade level.
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According to Guinness World Records as of 1995, the Bible is the best-selling book of all time with an estimated 5 billion copies sold and distributed. Sales estimates for other printed religious texts include at least 800 million copies for the Qur'an and 190 million copies for the Book of Mormon.What is World Book Day simple? ›
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- Storytelling cubes.
- Act it Out.
- Prompts in a Jar.
- Spin a Story.
- Draw a Story.
- Story in a Box.
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The read-aloud accommodation (RA) is frequently provided to students with high-incidence disabilities to facilitate their access to learning op- portunities during instruction and to allow them to demonstrate knowl- edge and skills during testing.Does reading aloud improve literacy? ›
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Characteristics of read alouds that come to my mind: animated, gesturing and enthusiastic. Those who were not skilled at reading aloud were monotone, soft-spoken and boring. As Mem Fox says, “there's no exact way to do it, reading aloud is in fact an art form” (Fox, 2008, p. 41).What is the pledge for reading day? ›
I shall make reading a habit and and be a solution to these challenges. I shall ensure best compliance to the legal framework of my country and shall strive for a secure and secular atmosphere. I shall strive to raise high, the value of knowledge, and the pride of my country with my thoughts, words and deeds.What is World Book Day for kids? ›
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What are the research based benefits of an interactive read aloud? Gives experiences with language that requires students to make sense of ideas. Enhances imagination, creativity, memory, and curiosity. Grows background knowledge and understanding of universal concepts.What is the lucky color for the year 2023? ›
The lucky color for 2023 is based on the element that rules the sign of the year -it's a color that promises to bring luck, prosperity, and health and can be used to bring those feelings into your interior design project. Forest green is the lucky color for 2023, a color that can represent both – earth and water.What is the real color of the year 2023? ›
The Color of the Year for 2023 is Viva Magenta, which the company describes as powerful and empowering. “Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration...What's the color for 2023? ›
The Pantone Color Institute named Viva Magenta as its official color of the year for 2023 for its joyous yet powerful nature. A red with subtle notes of purple, magenta flawlessly complements many different color palettes from those on the richer, jewel-tone side of the spectrum to even a lighter, earthy palette.
Think-alouds have been described as "eavesdropping on someone's thinking." With this strategy, teachers verbalize aloud while reading a selection orally. Their verbalizations include describing things they're doing as they read to monitor their comprehension.What are the benefits of read aloud strategy? ›
- Develops stronger vocabulary. ...
- Builds connections between the spoken and written word. ...
- Provides enjoyment. ...
- Increases attention span. ...
- Strengthens cognition. ...
- Provides a safe way of exploring strong emotions. ...
- Promotes bonding.
Enhancing creativity and imagination: Hearing stories read aloud can help to spark the imagination and creativity of students. Listening to different stories, characters, and settings can open up new possibilities in their minds and inspire them to think more creatively.What is the impact of World Book Day? ›
Parents surveyed by the charity said that 50% of children find reading more fun because of World Book Day, 48% make more time to read and 49% feel they have more choice in what they read because of it.Do they have World Book Day in America? ›
Which day is known as World Book Day? World Book Day is celebrated on April 23 every year.How to do a read-aloud in the classroom? ›
- Plan enough time for each session (15-20 minutes) ...
- Choose stories or texts that respond to children's interests and experiences. ...
- Preview the book before you read it with the group so you can anticipate questions or reactions. ...
- Introduce the book to the group. ...
- Read with expression.
Reader's theater is a strategy that combines reading practice and performing. Its goal is to enhance students' reading skills and confidence by having them practice reading with a purpose. Reader's theater gives students a real reason to read aloud.What should teachers do during read aloud? ›
Read-aloud is an instructional practice where teachers, parents, and caregivers read texts aloud to children. The reader incorporates variations in pitch, tone, pace, volume, pauses, eye contact, questions, and comments to produce a fluent and enjoyable delivery.What is the goal of read aloud? ›
Reading aloud helps students learn how to use language to make sense of the world; it improves their information processing skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. Reading aloud targets the skills of audio learners. Research has shown that teachers who read aloud motivate students to read.What is it called when students read aloud? ›
Sponsored by Floop. Popcorn reading, which is also known as Round-Robin reading, is a classroom practice in which students go around the room taking turns reading a text out loud. Typically this is done with longer passages, like textbook chapters or chapters in a book of fiction.