What Is a Read-Aloud and Why Should I Use One?
A "read-aloud" in the educational setting may be defined as a planned oral reading. Teachers use read-alouds to not only entertain, but to also develop background knowledge, model reading strategies, improve comprehension, and help students learn the skill of critical thinking. While some read-alouds are selected based on interest, others are chosen because they present an opportunity for the teacher to address a particular skill, because they are related to a topic of study, or because they provide background information necessary for learning.
There are a variety of reasons why you should read out loud to your students, but perhaps the most compelling is that read-alouds increase a child's understanding of the world around them, thereby improving a student's chance of successful learning. Not only are they exposed to a wider variety of vocabulary through an oral reading, they are able to then use what they glean from that vocabulary to better comprehend lessons, readings, images and more - all while making real-world connections to what they know or have learned.
According to ReadingRockets.com, "Research has demonstrated that the most effective read-alouds are those where children are actively involved asking and answering questions and making predictions, rather than passively listening." For this reason, you will find more than just titles listed in our guide to selections for elementary read aloud. Plans and activities are also included, to encourage this active participation.