When reading orally, children must not only decode the printed words on a page, they must also communicate the author’s meaning to others by varying the voice volume, pitch, phrasing, pauses, tone and reading rate. When reading orally, children must understand what they are reading in order to communicate the meaning successfully. As a result, the regular practice of oral reading boosts children’s comprehension, producing gains that will transfer to their silent, independent reading of fiction or nonfiction.
Activities to increase oral reading skills:
- Reading Specific Sentences Aloud. Have your child read a passage silently. Ask questions and direct him/her to locate and read the sentence that has the answer.
- Multimedia Models. Play records and tape recordings of poetry, prose and plays. Encourage discussion of the way the speakers use their voices to convey meaning.
- Reading Duets. Have your child choose a reading partner. Alternate the partners as readers and listeners.
- One Minute or Less Oral Reading Fun. Provide daily opportunities for your child to read orally, such as reading notices, signs or advertisements.
- Choral Reading and Play-Reading. Select poems, dramatic scenes from stories or story description to rehearse for choral readings. Model the chosen selection. Have your child choose a part to practice reading orally.
- Recording Oral Reading. Tape or video record plays, choral readings or radio dramas that your child has prepared and practiced.