I love read alouds! Even as an adult, I enjoy being read to (which explains my obsession with audiobooks). I also like to read to others. Of course, I read to my own children with different voices and bad accents and different levels of volume and…long…suspenseful…pauses.
In my teaching career, I BELIEVE that one is never too old to listen to a story/book read aloud. I have never taught a class below 8th grade and I ALWAYS begin the school year with a read aloud. Typically, I do between two and four novel read alouds over the course of the school year. I mix in short stories, essays, and poetry along the way as those pieces relate to what we’re studying. It is important for developing readers (yes, juniors are STILL developing readers) to HEAR the written word. They need to hear the fluency, inflection, and pacing of an accomplished reader. They need to linger over the sentences and vocabulary instead of struggling to pronounce the words (either in their heads or aloud). They need to HEAR appreciation for good writing in tone and presentation. And, many times, they just need to LISTEN. To lose themselves in a story and forget about all the psychological pressures of growing up and learning and being a kid.
So today, in honor of World Read Aloud Day, I invite you to JUST LISTEN. Here is the notorious, well-loved, and poofy-haired John Green reading aloud the first chapter of The Fault in Our Stars.