Read Aloud: Make Books Come Alive!

1 03 2012

As long as I live, I will always remember curling up in my bed and listening to my mom read my favourite childhood story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  I recall her deepening her voice and reciting “Who’s that trip trapping across my bridge?”  and then in timid reply, “It’s just me, the littlest Billy Goat Gruff“.  Night after night, I pleaded for her to read this book to me, and night after night, she obliged.

Many years later, I remember sitting in a large lecture hall – my first day at a new University – and staring wide-eyed as I listened to my professor read a story aloud.  It had been over a decade, since I’d had the experience of listening to a story read aloud.  The voice of Dr. Elizabeth Thorn, is forever etched in my mind as I recall her reading the words “I went to sleep with gum in my mouth, and now there’s gum in my hair…and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible no good, very bad day“.  Although this was many, many years ago, this text remains with me.  Often on difficult days, I find myself sighing “well, some days are like that… even in Australia!

Now as a teacher, I make it a promise to read aloud to my students every day.  I am always awed by the intensity with which they listen while I read.  We engage in deep and thoughtful conversations.  We don’t simply “read” the books… we “live” the adventure.  We’ve laughed together, cried together, and sat riveted as mysteries have unfolded in front of us.  On a daily basis, we experience grand adventures together.  We travel to distant times, incredible places, we enter worlds of imagination and wonder.  We explore new places, new perspectives, new realities.  Even if only for a short time, our classroom is transported, filled with creativity and dreams.

March 7th is Read-Aloud day…. perhaps I’ll read an old favourite, or try something new.  Either way, I’m sure we will be “living an adventure” through a book.  How about you?

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2 responses

5 03 2012
Gail Neale-Sedgewick

I have a joyful life, and one of the many I tally up evey day is that I am paid to read aloud to children. Follow your bliss and the money will follow.

5 03 2012
Lisa Donohue

Thanks Gail, you are very right! Reading to kids is an awesome way to make a living!

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