Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Read Aloud Isn't Just for After Lunch

What a beautiful and inspiring quote by Mem Fox.  Her words express what I see as my mission; to help teachers and children fall in love with books.  If you fall in love with books, you make the journey of learning much more rewarding and less stressful.  I hope to ignite that emotional spark!

I just did a presentation on Read Alouds and how they can strengthen writing.  The resources for this presentation are listed on my Presentations Page.  I used the book Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe to show how vivid language in the form of similes can take writing to the next level. We can teach figurative language in writing workshop.  That makes so much more sense than teaching it separately.  You give your students a "hook" to remember similes.  When they think of similes, they will remember this beautiful book.

I also added nonfiction books and websites for research. is a great website for learning about fireflies.  Here are a few books that I used:

Lester Laminack is the go-to guy for understanding the power of the read aloud.

“To make read aloud intentional I believe that we must be as thoughtful in our planning as we are when selecting manipulatives for mathematics or when establishing the flow of a classroom. We must select the books we will read with the same care we take in designing centers or in setting up a science lab. We must be as diligent in considering our reasons for reading aloud as we are in selecting the focus of a mini-lesson in reading and writing workshops. In short, we must pay careful attention to our intentions for the read aloud. So why do we read aloud to our students? What are our expectations for the experience? What result or product do we hope for? How will our students be different for living through these experiences with us? Are we hoping to motivate them to explore a topic or genre? Are we inviting them to meet a new author or illustrator? Are we leading them to compare the organizational framework of this story with a favorite known by all? Are we simply reading today for some future benefit, investing the time now to connect future instruction later? Are we reading to introduce specific vocabulary that will be essential in understanding the concepts for a unit of study in a subject area? Are we reading to contrast the multiple meanings of troublesome words? Are we reading to raise awareness of a targeted issue? Are we reading to model a specific reading strategy or skill? Are we reading to draw them in, to lure them into wanting to read more for themselves? Are we reading to bank images and language we will draw upon in an upcoming study?”
-Unwrapping the Read Aloud, 2009


  1. I think I'd love reading more from Lester. I know I need to be more purposeful with my read-alouds. Thank you for this.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. You will love him! I promise! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. So true! I find read alouds help in every subject throughout the day. Great quote.

    Chickadee Jubilee