TRC Read to Kids

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Have a ball reading!

Our last blog post featured a Read-Aloud about being yourself. For the activity, kids and volunteers took turns answering questions about themselves based on questions from a paper cube they rolled like a die.

Volunteers found the cube with questions online.  They discovered that having the cube to roll to prompt kids to answer questions was a great tool. 

You don't need a theme-specific prop to use this idea at your Read-Aloud. You can get the kids talking with each other and moving at the same time by using a beach ball to prompt questions. You can use it at any point or at several points during your Read-Aloud. For example:

  • With the kids standing or sitting in a circle, toss a beach ball around to each kid and have them answer a question about themselves or about the Read-Aloud.

  • Before, ask a theme-related question to start the Read-Aloud and get the kids thinking about what they already know about the theme.
    • What lives in the ocean?
    • What is your favorite food?

  • During, ask questions while you are reading:
    • What will happen next?
    • Do you agree or disagree with the character's choice?
    • Does this remind you of another book you've read?

  • After, ask questions about books the books you've read:
    • What was your favorite character?
    • If you could change the ending, what would happen?
    • Why did a character make a certain choice?
    • What did you like or dislike about this story?
    • Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

  • You can also use the beach ball to get the kids to:
    • Answer questions about themselves (likes, dislikes, etc.);
    • Think up rhymes with words you provide;
    • Name things in categories related to your theme like nocturnal animals or feelings;
    • Name something they learned during the Read-Aloud.

You can use any kind of ball to do this, even a tennis ball, but a beach ball is easy to catch and store and isn't likely to break anything if it gets away from the group.

You can just ask one question at a time and throw the ball around, with each child or volunteer answering as he or she catches it, or you can use a dry-erase marker to write specific questions on your beach ball. The person catching the ball would answer the question his right thumb is on when he or she catches it.

In addition to being a way to encourage and organize conversation at your Read-Aloud, using a ball has the added benefit of integrating physical activity into the reading experience. So have a ball at your Read-Aloud and get some conversation rolling!

To receive credit for this online training, please fill out the form here.

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