Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#road2reading Challenge - using read alouds with beginning readers 4.11.17

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools 
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

One of the questions I often get from parents of young children is "my child wants to start reading independently, where do I begin?"  As long as the child is initiating the desire to read, it shows there is a genuine interest.  There are many many early concepts of print, and by no means will this blog post cover them.  But, if you have a child that is noticing print and asking questions, there are a few things you can begin doing. 

The books I use with young children usually have a larger font size and a limited number of sentences on a page.  By starting with a longer picture book, it's too overwhelming for a beginning reader.  With the shorter text, you can do things like:
  • start pointing out just a few things in print while reading.  A good place to start is by picking a couple of sight words that they will encounter in books a lot, like "and" and "the". Invite readers to read those words when you get to them in the text.  As their sight word vocabulary increases, they'll be reading more and more words. 

Often parents will purchase books that are "sight word readers" or labeled with something like "level 1".  While the controlled text these books use are good for young readers, I would still begin with read alouds.  The best teaching of reading can happen in that one-to-one situation with an actual story book.  Great books to use are rhyming stories.  While you read them:
  • track the print with your finger.  When you get to the second rhyming word, leave it out and invite the young reader to give it a try.  You'll be encouraging them to use reading comprehension and showing them the printed word.  
Find books that have repeating parts.  Invite the young reader to point to the words as they read those parts.
  • Maybe It's a quote, like "run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man" or "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down."  Every time they get to that part, it's their turn to read.
  • Maybe it's a word or word part like a word that has -ing at the end.  By reading it over and over, young reader's eyes are paying attention to those words and adding them into their known reading vocabulary.
Ready to give it a try?  Here's a fun new rhyming book that has lots of repeated parts.

written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic
published by Two Lions

Goodreads summary
Lonely Platypus wants to play, but where should he go? Should he jump with the kangaroos? Leap with the possums? Fly with the bats? Every time he tries to find out—skipping, hopping, dipping, dropping—he winds up going splat instead. Can a SPLATypus find a place where he belongs? This rhyming, rollicking story is perfect for reading aloud.

Would you like to win a copy of the book?  Enter the rafflecopter and cross your fingers!
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Thank you to Two Lions for the review copy and giveaway!

Visit Alyson's post today for a chance to win another great title!

What books do you use with young readers?  Link up with us or share titles in the comments.


  1. When I was tutoring, I loved using Mo Willems' Piggie and Gerald books for beginning readers. One person can read Piggie's part and the other can be Gerald. Not to mention, the kids all love hunting for the pigeon on the end papers. I'm looking forward to reading Sudipta's latest book. I am HUGE fan of her books (as is my son). Wonderful post, Michele!

  2. Thank you for this post, Michele! We're getting to this stage at our house so your advice is very helpful. :)

  3. How would I help a young reader with a read-aloud. Hmmm. I would read aloud!

  4. Awesome tips! I am going to share this post with my students!

  5. I'm always looking for great books for my Story Time, and this looks like one the kids would love. By the way, the tips work. I've used some of these with my sons.