The importance of reading to children every day is never far from my mind. It comes from a passion for all things literacy as well as the knowledge that reading means empowerment. Reading is the key that unlocks so much that is meaningful in today’s world.
Whether at home or in the classroom, children need to listen to stories read aloud to them every day. It should be non-negotiable and prioritised. I would also add time for independent reading of self-selected material to that non-negotiable list and, in the classroom, time for independent writing on self-chosen topics.
Listening to stories benefits children in many ways; including, but not limited to:
- Sheer enjoyment
- Connection with others and other ideas which leads to understanding, respect and empathy
- Exposure to language and vocabulary which in turns develops language and vocabulary
- Positive feelings for books as a source of pleasure and information and a stimulus for imagination and creativity
- A model of fluent and expressive reading behaviour that can be aspired to and emulate
- A desire to read for oneself.
Keeping in mind that reading aloud to children and making time for their independent reading are non-negotiable and occur in the classroom every day, children also require purposeful instruction in the process of reading.
While some children appear to learn easily and without effort before starting school, as my own two children did, others struggle to understand the marks on the page. Most children fall somewhere on a continuum between, benefitting from instruction along the way.
The readilearn collection of teaching resources for teachers of the first three years of school includes many to support your teaching of reading. Many resources are free, others are available for no more than a few dollars, or you can access all the resources for one low annual subscription of just A$25. (That’s about £13, €15, US$17 or CAN$22) I’m sure you’ll agree that’s great value.
readilearn supports teachers teaching reading
As part of our support for reading aloud, on the readilearn blog we regularly conduct interviews with authors and illustrators about their new books. Many of these interviews are available to download free from the Author and Illustrator Spotlight resources. We also publish free lists of books on different topics for you to download; for example,
Continue reading: Empowerment through reading instruction – readilearn