Put Some Pizazz in Your Read-Alouds

Tip 1: Use Your Body Language
As readers, we have tools for creating an engaging reading experience:

· We can deepen or soften our voices as we take on various characters especially those we know are our child’s favorites.
· We also can use our voices to slow down rhythms for dramatizing the story sequences.
· We can use body language to accentuate new vocabulary in context which are key to

understanding the story. For example, they can use a variety of facial and body expression by lifting hands or raising eyebrows.

Finally, we can also recreate uplifting Steigercentrum kamersteiger stukadoor experiences that reinforce a feeling of love and connection by hugging our child, or providing opportunities for children to learn language kinesthetically using action verbs. In the read aloud Pete’s a Pizza, (HarperCollins, 1998) by the late William Steig, Pete’s loving parents try to cheer their son Pete by turning him into a pizza. The father and son interaction is hilarious and touching since both are so serious at playing this game. By the time the blues are gone, the giggles have come out. The best kinds of read-alouds where the experiences are identifiable and the vocabulary is naturally presented in the tender and loving interactions between a father and his son.

A caregiver can easily act out with a child the movements of “kneading and stretching the dough” as well as “twirling the dough in the air” to accentuate the vocabulary experiences while creating a fun pretend play experience between a caregiver and a child.

Tip 2: Choose Books With Positive Role Models
What we do with a story is just as important as just as important as how we do it. The process of building literacy involves focusing on new words, raising points for discussion and asking developmentally appropriate questions. More often than not, this can come naturally with books which have positive role model experiences and expressive pictures, which leave children with feel-good experiences.

Role models in a story are the best and most effective way to work with literacy experiences. Are some role models words more salient than others? What aspects of the read-aloud would naturally perk your child? Here are a few suggestions to help guide you as you plan your next read-aloud.

Tip 3: Get To Know The “Theme”
Always try and preread the story before you take it “live.” This technique guarantees that you are ready and prepared to do something on a level of literacy that will open the doors for your child.

Books that have the good and evil concept can almost often be used explicitly for reinforcing a child’s understanding. “Why is he a bad character?” or as a prediction exercise: “Do you think he is going to help him/her?” As children mature in their reading experience, try adding a “why element” to complement the factual information they already know. You’ll be surprised at how many responses you receive each time!

Tip 4: Tie Vocabulary Learning
New vocabulary does not always need to be pre-taught, but rather introduced or explained in an enjoyable meaningful experience. In the beginning, keep the explanations short and to the point, using as many basic words as possible. Make a visual connection. Depending on their expressive content, pictures can be ideal for helping the child predict the rest of the story.

Tip 5: Use Repetition
Use books that have a repeating words and phrases in them. Dr. Suess books are a great example in the undulating rhyme and rhythm. Besides the zany characters, young learners tend to recreate words from what they hear. Rhyming schemes are perfect for consolidating this linguistic experience.

Tip 6: Put some music into it – Use chants
Use the sing-song approach as you incorporate both melody and rhythm. Young children love chants. They are short and segmented. A child will quickly catch on. It is a nice way to start the morning with a quick chant from the previous night’s reading and a fun way to recycle vocabulary.

Personalizing a story by putting your heart and soul into it doesn’t have to be automatic-there are gradual ways to create the perfect experience, which can be done in a way that is enjoyable and beneficial to all.

To receive your free ebook, “Taking Charge in the Classroom” and your free weekly ezine containing tips, news and other information for new teachers, visit the New Teacher Resource Center at [http://www.newteachersignup.com]

Dorit Sasson is a freelance writer, educator and founder and director of the New Teacher Resource Center.

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