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Read alouds for school visits: Tips for Reading Aloud to Groups

Good books for reading aloud to school classes

Read Aloud tips

How to read to children in a group

o   When reading the book, be sure to hold it where all children can see.

o   Tilt it downward to them if they are on the floor.

o   Occasionally hold the book open and pass it in front of you. When reading, speak to the children, not the book.

o   Try to throw in some fun voices, sound effects, etc. (Not every character has to have a voice).

o   Do Dialogic reading.

  • In dialogic reading, the adult helps the child become the teller of the story.
  • The adult becomes the listener, the questioner, the audience for the child.
  • Dialogic reading is just children and adults having a conversation about a book.

Selecting Read-Aloud books

o   Use books that encourage participation.

o   Choose books with clear language and pictures, with no more than 5 or 6 lines per page. 

o   Select books that have good stories with simple plots.

o   Books with repeated phrase work very well, as do books with chants, rhymes, and sound effects.

o   Books that have predictability and humor also work well.


Evaluating the Read-aloud ease of a children’s book.


o   Looking at the pictures- how big are they? How colorful? Do they go with the text? Larger, self-explainatory pictures are easier to see by a group.

o   Look at white space- more is good because crowded pages can not be seen by the group.


** Most important storytime tip: HAVE FUN!! If you are having fun and enjoying sharing books with children, then they will be more motivated to learn to read!


Melinda Watkins

Children's Librarian

Valley Cottage Library