The benefits of reading aloud to my students are numerous. I read aloud at the beginning of each school day to transition the students into the classroom setting. They look forward to this time & settle in with anticipation. They start the day listening to good literature and on a positive note.
MODELING RATE, FLUENCY ETC.
I am a very animated dramatic reader and love a good story. I read with fluency, inflection, modulate my voice, and model how not read like a 'robot'. I observe students mimic my animated reading when they share a piece of their writing or reading. I model voice projection, speaking skills & facing the audience etc. Their vocabulary and language development improves as does their listening skills.
We add to a Graphic Organizer after each reading and the child respond to prompts in our classroom blog. They can refer to the book or GO Chart. The chart's structure varies with book genre and provides a interactive visual that organizes key points, structure and story elements. I often have children explain or 'retell' the story using the GO chart. Because they built it along with me they understand the symbols, sketches and key words. This also models how they are to create their own GO chart for their personal writings.
They participate in guided or spontaneous discussions by asking/answering questions, making predictions, talking about character traits, author's purpose, points of view etc. I model the dramatic pause, stopping at a place where we are on the edge of our seats to predict what could happen next and explain why.
PICKING BOOKS & INTEGRATING SEL
I pick books based on many factors- interest, unit of study, wanting to expose them to a variety of genres, reading level and just the fun factor. I pick chapter books, picture books, poems etc. I have an extensive K-8 grade leveled library. Being a multi grade classroom with a huge range of reading abilities, this is important. I will pick a book to read from a series or by a prolific author to get them excited to read more. ( It works!) We blog about what we are reading independently or as a read aloud which also increases interest in other books.
I am also very mindful of our SEL /Pirate club lessons and themes. It is common for us to notice a character who has been defeated by an Unthinkable or could benefit from a strategy we are practicing or learning about. The power of story is often in the conflicts, problem solving and choices characters make. Read Alouds are another way to expand on our Social Emotional Learning.