Many classrooms have begun transitioning from lectures to discussions and presentations, and read-aloud is becoming more prevalent. The idea is that students will learn more as they discuss a text with their peers, addressing the themes, conflicts, and concepts within it. Read-aloud is an integral and necessary part of many elementary school curriculums. They are an excellent way to share books with your students and provide you with a teaching opportunity to talk about things like character development and point of view, as well as a way to introduce complex vocabulary or content in a low-stakes setting. And while read-alouds can be effective, they may only sometimes be the most exciting for students.
1. Set Monthly Reading Challenges
Set monthly reading challenges for your students. This can be as simple as a chart on the wall with spaces to fill in with the number of books they finish in a month. You can use these numbers to reward them or even challenge them to read more books than they would have on their own. Create a classroom reading challenge based on monthly themes, book genres, or individual books. Whatever your students are interested in and can make happen within the classroom schedule is what you want to use to create this monthly challenge.
2. Explore More Reading Genres
The usual read-aloud, like fiction or historical fiction, should not be all you do in a classroom. They are excellent for developing reading skills and literary awareness, but several genres can also be used for read-aloud. Keep going with books about dragons and knights because books about sports or animals can also help to build critical thinking skills in students. As long as the book is targeted at the right reading level and is appropriate for your class, it can be used as a read aloud. Look for new genres for your students and allow them to explore them with an open mind and see just how much they enjoy the genre.
3. Use Technology to Make Read Alouds Interactive
It can be as simple as having students paint a face on a whiteboard to take the place of a character in the book they are reading or as complicated as using videoconferencing so that students who are not present in the classroom can participate in discussions. The important thing is finding ways to get kids invested in books and characters that you want them to care about, and using technology is one way to do this. The kindergarten read aloud lesson plan below straightforwardly uses technology but still helps to engage students in the story and increase their reading level.
4. Move the Location of Your Read Alouds
This can be as simple as moving from your classroom to the library or vice versa, but you could also move them to a different part of the school, such as the cafeteria, music room, or gym. Not only does this change the environment in which students are used to hearing read-aloud, but it also gives students opportunities to talk about books they may have yet to be exposed to. You can use these opportunities to expand your reading choices and improve your critical thinking skills.
5. Plan Author Studies
Many authors visit schools, and many have websites offering potential related resources. You can use these visits or website links to plan book talks, project ideas, writing assignments, and even a chance to Skype with the author. You can get them excited about an author, and their work will help your students engage more in the read-alouds. Author studies do a great job of getting students interested in books and authors. You can plan them to coincide with the author’s birthday, the release of a new book, or even just the author’s work topics or interests. They can be helpful for you and your students because students often need to become more familiar with any particular author, especially if you tend to read short works like short stories or essays.
As long as you keep the activities fresh and engaging, your students will be more excited to read in class and will be able to create more citations using their reading process. To encourage students to get invested in their reading materials and themes within them, it is important that they feel like they have a significant role. Students need to feel like they are making a difference in their learning experience by discussing books with their peers and discussing the text.»5 Ways You Can Make Your Read Aloud Lesson Plan Fun«