Reading Aloud. ‘Star Wars’, Move Over

Thursdays I read aloud at the library.  I chapter read, and that is far different than reading a story.  Each Thursday ends with and then?  For thirty minutes children are glued to every word, because those words are powerful and exciting, and heart pounding.  The words are complicated and make children think.  We sit together, close.  When I read aloud I yell, whisper, cry, gasp…whatever those words on the page are saying.  They push every button and pull every string, and I read it just that way.

Here’s the best part; the brain is the most sophisticated computer, far beyond the wealth of information and technology we already know.  When the brain hears the words from reading aloud chapter books, it goes into action and makes amazing pictures.  We see exactly what is happening in our mind.  It triggers the heart with a call to action.  On the highest level it makes us change through learning.  The brain is supreme, and what it does with the words it hears from books is better than any movie can hope to do.  Star Wars, move over!

Today was a typical chapter reading day at the library; heart pounding, laughing, and learning.  We’re reading Indian in the Cupboard.  Omri took both Little Bear and Boone to school in his pocket.  There we problems when Little Bear stabbed Omri, then Omri and Patrick got into a big fight.  Omri had to give both Little Bear and Boone to Patrick at lunch time.  Oh, do you know Little Bear and Boone are three inches high and have come alive through Omri’s cupboard?  And, they’re from different times.  Things got worse with a fight in the cafeteria.  That’s where we had to leave it today (with children begging to keep reading) because we read way over our time.

The rest of the chapter continues to build, and that’s just what the brain does best of all; making mental connections with every word and sending them into pictures, memory, and thinking.  I can’t wait for next Thursday’s chapter reading.  The and then? is a constant.

Ellie Letter

Is a book better than a movie?  You bet!  Children know.  Anoushk wrote me, “Keep reading with us”.  I will do that!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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5 Responses to Reading Aloud. ‘Star Wars’, Move Over

  1. Marie Forst says:

    What age are you reading this to?

  2. reocochran says:

    My three children are 34, 35 and 30. They liked “Indian in the Cupboard.” I think of other books but you know plenty and this would be like “preaching to the choir.”

  3. Krista Kubick says:

    Thank you for taking the time to read to my girls. They look forward to their time with you each week! When they mentioned the read aloud book group at a Christmas gathering, my extended family had fun sharing memories of being read to over the years. Thank you for giving this gift to the children of Groton! We are lucky to have you!!

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