Classmate Jana explores reading aloud to older children in her blog. I work at a high school and two of my own boys are high schoolers, so I found the piece intriguing and I can attest to read-alouds being an effective way to disassociate an assignment with the printed word, a concept referred to as the “sweat mentality” in the Scholastic article. My older boys used to love to read when they were in elementary school. What happened? They’ve come to believe that there’s a lot more to experience in life than a good book. We try to squeeze it in when we can. We’ve spent many hours listening to audio books on road trips. Our absolute favorite is Harry Potter, as read by Jim Dale. One of my boys was a better auditory than visual learner, and a lot of the concepts and themes were reinforced as he read the text at home and listened to the book when we were in the car.
This can even be connected with the spoken word movement, and the idea that stories have different ways of being shared. The same phrase can sound different and mean something different when spoken by two different individuals.
In this article, Jim Brozina writes about reading aloud to his daughter for 3,218 straight days, up until she left for college. If you’re up to reading it, grab some tissue. I do admit, this situation is exceptional in illustrating the bond that can occur when reading together.
I tend to waffle when it comes to celebrating some things in my high school library. Will the students find it too immature? I wanted to do something for Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but my older boys told me it would probably be a waste of time. Why?! He inspired so many kids to read and took us past the boring Dick-and-Jane books. So I decided to bake cookies for the teachers and hoped it would somehow encourage them and help them remember why we do what we do.