Reading-Aloud to Children: A Cautionary Tale with Recommendations for Success
Keywords:reading aloud, picturebooks, cautionary tale, read-aloud texts, read-aloud strategies
This article advocates and promotes the practice of reading aloud to children, adults, and everybody in between, by parents, siblings, teachers, librarians, and guardians throughout the world. At the same time, it article presents a cautionary tale about reading aloud. The tale is based on an instance of one guest reader who read aloud a picturebook to children at a public reading session sponsored by Scholastic. Author experiences with and personal reflections on this session describes several cautions to adults (teachers, administrators, parents, grandparents, and guardians) that reading aloud to children is not a simple activity, but a complex art. A brief review of research on reading aloud is presented, highlighting four major categories: reading aloud picturebooks, reading aloud picturebooks across the curriculum, reading aloud picturebooks to older readers, and reading aloud to English Language Learners. A variety of recommended texts and instructional strategies for reading aloud to children are presented and some final thoughts described.