Re-Discovering Reading Aloud


Anderson, Richard et al. Becoming a nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading: US Department of Education.  Champaign-Urbana, IL: Center for the Study of Reading, 1985.

  • The single most important activity for builing the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children
  • Reading aloud is a practice that should begin at an early age and continue through the grades

5 Habits of Highly Effective Reading Aloud

  1. Set aside a special, appropriate time....And keep it consistent.
  2. Read books that relate to [themes in a child's life]
  3. Select books that 'click' with the child's age.
  4. Choose timeless titles (those that might not be read to a child elsewhere and personal favourites)
  5. Read with expression, lower the lights, invigorate and inspire.

Drogowski, Patricia P. (2009). Time Well-Spent: The Intermediate Read-Aloud. School Library Media Activities Monthly 25(6): 19-20

Choosing Appropriate Titles: Some Strategies from the Pros....

  • Choose books you have read yourself and enjoyed (Reid)
  • Select age appropriate titles (Keller)
  • Be aware there is a significant difference between listening levels and reading levels (Trelease)
  • Choose books that will capture the attention and imagination of the listeners (Keller)
  • Challenge your audience - select a book that a child might not choose an her/his own (Reid)

Read-Aloud Resources

These titles provide overviews of the research about reading-aloud, suggestions about how to do it and lists of titles which are recommended for sharing aloud with children.  Each has earlier editions and/or related works which are also useful.

Freeman, Judy.  Books Kids Will Sit Still for 3: A Read-Aloud GuideWestport, CN: Libraries Unlimited, 2006

Reid, Rob. Reid's Read-Alouds: Selections for children and teens. Chicago: ALA, 2009.

Trelease, Jim.  The Read-Aloud Handbook, 7th ed. NY: Penguin, 2013

Suggested Read-Aloud Titles:


Submitted by Lynne McKechnie and Rosamund Stooke.  "It's Never Too Late...Oral Language and the School Age Child." Literacy Success: The Role of Oral Language in Literacy Development June 3, 2015.  London's Child & Youth Network




Target Age
3-6 , 6-12 , 12-18
2000 Words to Grow , Engagement , Skill Development