We are excited to once again participate in World Read Aloud Day and bring you three of our authors reading their own poems. We hope that you will all get a chance to read aloud today to your class, your kids, colleagues, or listen to a great read-aloud by someone else.
We hope you enjoyed the World Read Aloud Day celebrations yesterday and that you had a chance to read or listen to a story.
To wrap up the read-aloud day events, we want to share a lovely blog post by author Kate Messner (Real Revision).
“…I believe read-alouds have special powers. They do. Powers to bring us together and create a shared reading experience that’s different from the one we have, even if we’re reading the same novel on our own, at the same time.”
Read the full post on Kate’s blog and find out why you are never too old for a read-aloud!
We are very excited to participate this year and we are even more excited to bring you some of our own authors reading from their books and poems. Visit the LitWorld website and Twitter page for other happenings around the country and the blogosphere and share with us how you have celebrated this day.
We are going to start out by sharing a blog post written by Mary Lee Hahn (Reconsidering Read-Aloud) about the power of read aloud. After you read the post scroll down to see Ralph Fletcher, Carolyn Coman, Jennifer Jacobson, and Georgia Heard read their own work. It’s like having them right there in your classroom!
I have been considering and reconsidering read-aloud in print for ten years and in classroom practice for almost thirty years. When I attempt to distill the power of read- aloud, it always comes down to community.
Read-aloud builds a community of readers.
Read-aloud is the common thread that ties together all of the listeners in the classroom. It gives them books in common, authors in common, stories in common, and characters in common. Read-aloud is when we think together, laugh together, and sometimes cry together.
Read-aloud is the dock where we tie up all of our reading canoes, the airport where we land our reading airplanes, the parking lot where we park our reading cars.
Read-aloud is a movie theater where everyone in the audience hears the same soundtrack, even though the screen and the pictures are inside each head.
Read-aloud is what solitary readers can do together. It’s a book club, only better, because the conversations don’t just happen after everyone has read the book in isolation. We talk about the book all the way through. Sometimes there’s no time left over to read the book because we’ve spent so much time talking about it. And that’s okay, because read-aloud has a permanent spot on the classroom’s daily schedule. The book will be there, waiting for us tomorrow. We can plan on read-aloud. We can depend on read-aloud.
Read-aloud builds readers.
Read-aloud is the constant in the changing swirl of classroom content. It’s the learning time that demands both the most and the least of a learner. It’s a time, I was told by a student once, to “learn without trying.” The listener takes from the read-aloud what he or she can or will on a day-to-day basis.
Read-aloud might be the book that none of the listeners would ever read independently. Read-aloud provides a life vest, a climbing harness, a parachute, a safety net to support readers through topics or ideas or genres or events in history that they could never or would never attempt on their own. Read-aloud stretches minds. Read-aloud opens doors. Read-aloud breaks down barriers.
Read-aloud cannot be measured or programized or standardized or equalized or regimented. It is organic. Everything depends on the teacher, the book, and the listeners.
Read-aloud can never be the same thing twice. Read-aloud is an art, not a science. The reader paints meaning with book choice, inflection, intonation, sound effects, pauses, and discussion. The listener begins by viewing the reader’s paintings but often ends up inhabiting the paintings—becoming the characters, experiencing the settings, living the story.
Build can mean “construct,” “establish,” or “increase.” Read-aloud builds community, and read-aloud builds readers.
Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate.
Imagine a world where everyone can read…
This year Stenhouse will join LitWorld along with other organizations, publishers, schools, and teachers, to celebrate World Read Aloud Day on March 7. We have an exciting lineup of Stenhouse authors reading from their children’s books right here on the Stenhouse blog: Jennifer Jacobson, Ralph Fletcher, Carolyn Coman, and Georgia Heard.
LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day in March 2010 as an awareness day advocating for literacy as a right that belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another. By raising our voices together on this day, we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.
How will you celebrate World Read Aloud Day? Here are some ideas:
Read aloud with loved ones or new friends and talk together about the importance of global literacy, marking this as a special day of reading! Visit the LitWorld website for recommendations, worksheets, read-alouds, videos and other resources to help guide and inspire you.
Spread the word about World Read Aloud Day and the Global Literacy Movement to your friends and followers or host an event in your area to rally around this urgent cause. Help us reach more than one million participants, joining forces and reading together in honor of this day.
Share World Read Aloud Day with friends across the globe by using video chat and tuning into LitWorld’s special live webcasts. When you register for World Read Aloud Day at litworld.org, let us know if you would like us to match you up with a special guest reader!
Check back here on March 7 to hear our authors read and to share your stories of how reading has changed your life.