Sharing the joy of a good novel

Read-aloud Tips

January 02, 2000

"Of all the qualities a teacher might possess, the most contagious is enthusiasm. Are you enthusiastic about books? Do your students ever see you with something other than a textbook in your hand? Have you shared with your class a book you stayed awake reading until 2 o'clock in the morning? Have your read a magazine article or newspaper column to your students about something that really interested you?

"If you want your science or history class to be alive, wrap the facts and figures, the dates and battles, in flesh-and-blood novels. Read 'My Side of the Mountain' by Jean George, or 'Woodsong' by Gary Paulsen to your science class. Open your history class with five minutes from 'My Brother Sam Is Dead' by James and Christopher Collier. Art teacher Donalyn Scholfield in New Braintree, Mass., used the quiet time during which her students were doing a stitching project to read aloud 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien.

"Because she has a captive audience, the classroom teacher holds a distinct advantage ...."

-- From "The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease

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