When we read aloud, we read a lot.
This was one morning’s pile of reading.
We read a chapter of each.
During the first half of our read aloud session,
(Yes, I read it to the boys so we all have common ground for discussions),
the boys sit quietly and listen to our more difficult books.
Then, about half way through,
once we have reached the books that require a little less attention,
I allow the boys to occupy their hands with quiet activities.
Over the years I’ve varied my approach to this read aloud activity.
At first I did what most do and allowed any activity provided it was quiet.
The children could answer my questions and give narrations so I thought all was well.
However, not long back, I discovered that the quality of the children’s narrations
improved dramatically when certain activities were avoided
(and even better when there is no activity).
For us, those things were activities that included any element of imaginative play,
or too much cognition
i.e. Lego, matchbox cars, action figures, some drawing etc.
So what works for us then?
Well for some books I don’t allow any activity –
any book that is challenging, new, or overflowing with important details.
For books that are a little easier to comprehend or books that we’ve already fallen in love with,
I can allow things like playdough, kinetic sand, colouring or pattern making,
without affecting the children’s narrations too much.
What do others allow?
How do you feel about narrations?
Do you use the strategy?
What are your thoughts on reading aloud?
Reading aloud is our absolute favourite thing!