Reading Activities

31 May

When we read aloud, we read a lot.

This was one morning’s pile of reading.

We read a chapter of each.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What do others allow?

How do you feel about narrations?

Do you use the strategy?

What are your thoughts on reading aloud?

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Reading aloud is our absolute favourite thing!


Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Language


3 responses to “Reading Activities

  1. Jen

    June 4, 2016 at 9:36 am

    How have you found The Omnivores Dilemma? I have thought about reading it but haven’t found the time yet.

    • Tracey

      June 4, 2016 at 9:47 am

      It’s a really good read but it’s very American so it’s leaving us wondering about the situation in Australia.

  2. Jen

    June 5, 2016 at 3:50 am

    I know that our dairy and feed lot situation for the most part is very different to theirs. Our dairy cows are in the paddock. And the feed lots are just for the finishing off of the cattle. So I know those areas are different.


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