We all know that reading out loud to children is the foundation of literacy. We are told over and over again to read to our kiddos even before they are born. What is a good age to stop? Well, never!
“Research indicates that motivation, interest, and engagement are often enhanced when teachers read aloud to middle school students,” wrote research authors Lettie K. Albright and Mary Ariail. Teachers surveyed for the study cited modeling as their number-one reason for reading aloud.
Having adolescents listen to stories not only expands their vocabulary, it gives them the opportunity to hear a subject they might not have discovered on their own. Listening to characters solve their conflict provides children with examples they can apply to real-life incidents. It allows them to really experience the book. If reading is made enjoyable, kids are not as hesitant to pick it up as a hobby.
A quote from the KQED article drives home the fact that reading together creates memories.
“Jim Trelease recently received a letter from a retired teacher who reconnected online with former students some 30 years later. She wanted to know the one thing her former students remembered about her class.”
“Without fail, it was the books she read to them.”