Read Aloud Especially During Social Isolation

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This resource grew out of my desire to help parents faced with lack of materials to work with their children that we now essential getting their education via distance online in some form. All parents are now the face and voice of the teacher in their new home school environment due to social isolation.  In the new world, teachers were not prepared to work in this way with their students or their families. Given all the issues, I felt how important that both parents and teachers be aware of how essential it was to commit to or to continue to read aloud every day.

I have included several articles, info-graphics, posters and a resources guide of read aloud children’s books about color. The books are a video of a person sharing the text or story from the actual book. I tried to locate at least one good example for each book. The books are not computerized movie books. There are intended to mirror reading aloud to your child. If I was educating at home and had limited reading material I would get the selected book and get it cue up. Then, I would mute the sound and read it from the screen version of the book. Later, I would  make it available to my child to hear the online reader.  I live alone or I would have attempted this modification. 

To enjoy a book does not require sitting in a desk with your hands folded. Remember, that the first step in the neurocognitive learning process is in the sensory area of the brain. It is how we first take in information. You will find your Read aloud way as a parent to your own unique child. My daughter would never have been described as an overly active child, but she often liked to chew on something, stand, lean or sway as we read together. However, with my Dad she loved to be next to his chest. In contrast, my family nicknamed me the Energizer Bunny, but I was motionless and engaged as my mother read to me. In fact, the nap and bedtime story soon came to be referred to as “Reading Mama Night, Night Time” or until she lost her voice as she attempted to read the armload of books I brought.

When I was an undergraduate working with a remarkable professor of reading K-12 in the early 1980’s, she had us reading with children of all ages and this was one of the components of the lesson. When she was teaching us about various strategies, she brought up the LAP method. She explained this was the strongest and best of all. It involves sitting with a child and reading to them. She stated that it started shortly after birth and it cognitively paired books, reading and love. The bonds between the three were unbreakable and lifelong. It was important that all adults and most especially parents participate in reading aloud to all kids across their childhood.

WOW! 20 years later repeated studies proved that my professor was correct as I knew she would be. I was a product of the LAP method on roller skates. There was no better time than the time when Mom said “go pick out your book.”  Later, my teacher infected me with my lifetime love of mysteries by sharing Nancy Drew and building on it by informal talks about the specific volume we we currently reading independently. Dad too got in the act by introducing me to John Steinbeck and Kurt Vonnegut, which inspired me to read all the two authors  wrote and everything else about them I could locate.  

Reading was my life because of this method. When I went to school, I only agreed to leave my home because my trusted Mom promised that this was where I would learn this magical skill called reading. Sadly, that learning to read in school was not off to a very robust start as I was a learning impaired child in a classroom of 75 other students with only one teacher. The schools answer was to put us in the lunchroom with educational television and worksheets. Thus, my early literacy learning instruction did not occur despite my deepest desire and my stellar efforts.  

As it became evident that there was a significant issue, my mom looked for answers. She became very observant. She was the emotional rock that allowed me to face repeated failure in my most passionate goal of wanting to read. She helped me to recognize that I would accomplish this goal because I was a hard worker that was passionate about this goal. In addition, she moved me to a smaller school with teachers that were dedicated to sharing with their students a love of reading and learning. This made all the difference! From the 3rd grade on our entire school and home community was sharing about the books we were reading.

It was a special librarian at this small school that helped to find the key that unlocked reading for me. She paired that strong love of text to help me become a reader. She used my love to help me become an independent reader. We changed each other’s lives. She invited me to celebrate when she earned her doctorate in special education. She was the reason I become an English Literature teacher that eventual focused on reading and even later, special education.

I am a certified teacher for Pre-8 all subject matters, Secondary English and social studies, special education Pre-adulthood, Speech and language Impairment specialist Pre-adulthood. No matter what I teach or to who I always include a time for a read aloud. This time needs to embrace the simple pleasure and joy of the book for you as the reader and them as the listener. This is not a direct instruction activity. The goal is to engage with the text and each other.  Later, after reading discussion and ideas for more information may naturally occur. I prefer to respond with a more creative activity if possible. Students tell me that it made a difference in their lives as they share their success after we have moved away ( we are military communities).

When I devoted myself to special education, I reevaluated the practice of read alouds by researching with depth and breathe about a variety of disabilities and how their post-secondary outcomes. I found that they most of all needed that family LAP method to propel them through their entire education. In fact, those that were successful by the world standards share the credit with their family members, often their mom as did I. Each time I graduated I gave her the salute. 

As a parent of a 25 year old, we both love to share read alouds to this day. A tradition, my parents shared was a love of children’s Literature.  This love has become the tradition and the language of love to my daughter and me to this day. Instead of a card when she graduated from college, I bought her the most meaningful book that expressed my feeing and thought for that occasion. She has reciprocated with the same. When she reads to me, I feel the adoration and joy I witnessed in the eyes of my preschoolers. This practice too became a tradition. All books are powerful especially those we share.  I hope that I share how essential it is just to read to everyone in your life.

I have included some research supported articles and organizations  in support of reading aloud. I hope this resource guide will be a start to exploring some wonderful stories about color. Dr. Hutton is leading the charge by the medical profession to make read aloud a part of well child visits.

Lesson tags: 
Good for Parents
Available in Spanish
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial NoDerivative CC (BY-NC-ND)