What is the single most important activity for building skills for reading success?




It’s true!  For children of ALL ages! Don’t believe me?  Check the research listed at the end of this post!

Why is reading aloud such a critical component for reading success??

Reading aloud…

  • Introduces children to genres they may not discover on their own.
  • Exposes children to literary vocabulary-which is different from conversational vocabulary- and is vital for reading comprehension.
  • Gives children background knowledge, which helps them make sense of what they hear, see, and read.
  • Motivates students to read on their own because they see reading as valuable and exciting.
  • Gives students something to talk about which also supports reading and writing skills.
  • Lets children use their imagination to explore experiences beyond their own.
  • Demonstrates what fluent reading sounds like.

Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children (1998). image

Learning to Read and Write (1998)

Becoming a Nation of Readers (1985)

International Reading Association (1985)

Any benefits not listed here?  Please leave a comment and share!

Thx! J.


2 thoughts on “What is the single most important activity for building skills for reading success?

  1. Great post again Janyll! We would also add the following to the list of benefits:

    1. Not only does reading aloud introduce students to new genres, it can introduce readers to new series or authors. To be able to say “does anyone like Harry Potter?” or “is anyone a fan of Star Wars?” and then introduce an unknown series, author or book that is closely related, interest can be generated towards literature previously unknown to students.

    2. Allows a teacher to model “think aloud” strategies when reading aloud (i.e. “When I read this, it reminded me of …Good readers are always trying to make connections to what they already know.”). Students need to see these reading strategies modeled and explicitly articulated when used by a teacher.

    3. Shows the “teacher as reader”, that reading is not just something that happens at school or something that students do. When reading aloud, it allows teachers to share their favorites and provide commentary on their lives as readers.

    I’m sure there are many more benefits that could be included in this list! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Janyll!


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