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Six Tips for Successful Oral Reading

Sam Sebesta, a specialist in Readers Theatre, gives teachers six tips for a successful oral reading program, including how to prepare the audience.
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Six Tips for Successful Oral Reading

Reading aloud can be a powerful classroom experience. Use these six tips to make oral reading work in your classroom.

1. Sample the content.
When you or your students find a selection that promises to be good for oral reading, try it out. Read samples aloud to see if it keeps its promise. Notice that some stories, biographies, and information materials have cadence. They come alive and seem quite musical when read orally. Encourage students to go on a hunt to find those selections.

Engaging oral reading is about both reading powerfully and listening attentively


2. Talk about the author's purpose.
It isn't enough just to say that an author's purpose is to inform or entertain. Oral readers must dive into the author's secrets: They must think how the purpose is accomplished. In Brian Jacques' Redwall for instance, the author – and you, the reader – must make an abbey full of cloned mice seem absolutely believable. Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, must make us suffer for the sake of a mistreated dog. Think about and talk about the author's purpose. That will clarify your oral reading purpose and create a direct link between reader and listeners.