TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Consider New Readers

What is unique about children when they first start to read?

Children of all ages attend Read-Alouds. To craft successful Read-Alouds, it is important to realize that children's interests and abilities vary according to their age, personality, emotional development and level of literacy. Let's look at five- to seven-year-olds.

These children are able to sit still and pay attention. They have begun the work of learning to read and need to start having fun with books. They like being read to and like to talk about books and stories. 

  • Five- to seven-year-olds like fairy and folk tales and stories with animals that talk. Folk and fairy tales often provide repetition or a familiar structure that encourages the children to chime in or repeat the story to you.
  • Simple nonfiction is also popular — children have an appetite for facts.
  • Stories about school, home, other kids and familiar experiences provide a chance for kids to apply their own experiences to the story, and vice versa.  
  • Children like to show off their newly acquired reading skills. A few minutes spent one-on-one with a new reader will make her or his day!
  • New readers love to fill in repeated phrases and provide the correct rhyming word. Be sure to give children a chance to do so by pausing and letting them shout out the next word.

General Tips for Success
  • New readers need more attention than experienced readers. To keep the children focused, split them into smaller groups and give them more personal attention.
  • When possible, let the children choose the next book from those books you brought with you. They love to call the shots, and for children whose lives are chaotic and stressful, having a say is very powerful. 
  • Take time to talk about what you've read with the children. This acknowledgment is very important. Listen to their ideas and show that you value them as fellow readers and people.

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