One effective way to help teens improve their own reading skills is to have them read to younger children, reports Scholastic Parents. Not only should it improve reading fluency, it can encourage enthusiasm. In addition, younger kids get the benefits of being read to. Some techniques will help teens read aloud to kids more effectively than others.
Before the Read Aloud
Find a regular time to read aloud. You might let the teen take over a sibling's bedtime stories a few nights a week, says Scholastic Parents. If a teen doesn't have younger siblings, he can offer to read aloud while baby-sitting or see if the local library or elementary school has a reading buddy program.
Encourage her to choose books she'll enjoy. Teenagers aren't usually enthusiastic about being told what to do, so let her decide what books to read aloud. She can get suggestions from the kids she's reading to, share favorites from her own childhood or visit the library for ideas.
Let them find things to read that aren't books. If your teen and his younger brother love cars, let your teen read a car magazine to his sibling. Graphic novels and comic books may be too complicated for younger kids to read independently, yet both kids and teens (and some adults) are fascinated by them.
During the Read Aloud
Have teens preview the book. If your teen isn't confident about reading aloud, encourage her to preview the reading material alone first. That way she can look up any unfamiliar words or ask how to pronounce certain names. After that, or if she is a confident reader, she can look over the book with the kids and make predictions on what it will be about, suggests the International Reading Association.
Remind teenagers to read with expression. He can try funny voices for different characters or change their tone frequently, says the International Reading Association.
Explain how to respond when kids ask questions during reading. She should know that it's OK for children to share their thoughts during read alouds, especially if they are asking questions about or making connections to the book or magazine.
Tips & Warnings
- The International Reading Association has ideas on what teens can ask kids during reading, like, "What do you think is going to happen next?" or "What does that word mean?" They can do the same after reading, like, "What was your favorite part of the story?" or "Did it remind you of any other books you've read?"
- It might take some practice for your teen to get used to reading aloud to kids. If possible, talk to the kids involved before the read aloud starts, especially if your teen is nervous. Remind the kids to be good, kind listeners so that it's easier for the teen to read to them.
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