Reading aloud to middle and high school students is a topic of discussion in the library world, hooray!
Even if you are confident reading aloud to any age group, it’s a good idea to gather tips for success with teens in particular.
Candy Blessing (2005) offers advice for conducting a read-aloud program that will motivate struggling teen readers. Barrett (2000) suggests that reluctant readers will benefit as well. Some of the ideas span a wide range of audiences, but Blessing focuses on the teen experience. Her tips are summarized here:
- Consider starting out “small,” with a poem or short story.
- Choose a book with specific appeal for your particular group.
- Read the entire book ahead of time, and make sure you like it yourself.
- Read aloud to teens “15-20 minutes, once or twice a week.”
- To help with transitions between activities, schedule reading aloud at the beginning or end of a class or program.
- Create a relaxing environment with lighting and/or music, and have teens face away from sunlit windows.
- Explain to teens that they are going to experience a shared reading event.
- Tell the teens something about the author.
- Encourage students to pay attention to specific features of the upcoming story.
- Encourage students to doodle on paper while listening.
- End each read-aloud session at an “intriguing” point in the story.
- Follow a read-aloud session with a discussion.
- Be prepared with recommendations for other titles.
Blessing, C. (2005). Reading to kids who are old enough to shave. School library journal, 51(4), 44-45.
Barrett, V. D. (2000). Are we reading to our teens? Book report, 19(1), 35-38.