How Reading Books Aloud Online Can Help Student Literacy and Connection During Social Distancing



Once it became clear that education was moving online, publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon & Schuster, Disney, HarperCollins and many others quickly moved to relax their rules on reading books via livestream or YouTube to accommodate teachers and students during this difficult time.

Most publishers now grant teachers access, as long as they follow a few rules that vary by publisher. (Find the full list of publisher permissions and reading rules online here.)

Key guidelines include stating at the top of the video that the book is read with the permission of the publisher and keeping recordings read aloud on school sharing platforms that are private. If no private sharing app is available, the editors recommend making the YouTube video “unlisted” and available only to students.

Ripp admitted that she had never read aloud before using YouTube, FaceTime, or Zoom, but was willing to give it a try anyway, even though it took her a few times to get it. to understand. “When we read aloud, we connect,” Ripp said. “He doesn’t have to be perfect right now. We aim for connection, not perfection.

Benefits of reading aloud

Read aloud to children—even older who could easily do the reading themselves – offers multiple advantages.

According to research, reading aloud provides academic impulses to developing readers. They help develop the phonological awareness of young children and “Emerging literacy capacity”, increase vocabulary, and develop word fluency and grammar comprehension.

A 2008 review in the Archives of Disease in Childhood assessed that “reading aloud to young children, especially in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent.”

Reading aloud also improves comprehension by developing basic knowledge, especially if the reader stops to check comprehension. A small recent study outside England has shown that adolescents who were read difficult books had better reading comprehension than when they read them alone.

In the 1970s, journalist Jim Trelease discovered that reading aloud to his own children not only cultivated basic vocabulary and knowledge, but also forged a love of reading as a shared family activity. His popular book now in its seventh edition, The read aloud manual, sharing research and best practices for parents and educators.

In the book, Trelease details all of the cognitive and academic benefits that reading aloud offers to children. But it may be her words about the emotional benefits of what reading aloud does for families and relationships that seem so relevant in this time of quarantine, isolation and social distancing.

“We read to kids for all the same reasons we talk to kids,” Trelease wrote. “Reassure, entertain, build relationships, inform or explain, arouse curiosity and inspire.

Take a read aloud that is worth watching

Educators say that compared to many other academic tasks online, reading books aloud can be relatively easy. This is an area that teachers can do on their own simply by accessing a few tools on their laptops or smartphones.

Facebook page of easy to use tips for Authors also provides great advice for educators who want to start “live book clubs” using Facebook Live. Instagram also offers a tip sheet for create an Instagram Live also.

But some educators may want to do more. When fifth-grade teacher Joe Paradise from Westfield, New Jersey, did a fun, funny version of a read aloud of Chapter two is missing for his students quarantined on YouTube, he started receiving requests from other educators to show him how he had done it.

Paradise then created a youtube video how he created reading aloud and shared it with his educator friends. The “ball began to roll,” he said, and the video – which was far from polished – was shared over 3,000 times in the first twenty-four hours.

In the video, Paradise takes educators step-by-step on how to create an engaging video: how to read so their voices are heard and how to make sure the pages are visible. Its main message to teachers is to avoid getting overwhelmed by all the available technologies and to keep it simple.

“We build the plane while it’s in the air,” Paradise said of teachers trying to adapt to e-learning. “The advice I took comes from Cool cat teacher Vicki Davis, and it is to integrate [technology] like a turtle: level up every day and learn a new thing, and become excellent at it. ”

Reading aloud resources for all ages

Ripp’s plan at the moment is “the Friday night readings aloud with Ms. Ripp.” »She will read more to her teens picture books in the same style as some of their class favorites from last year, like Fried bread and We don’t eat our classmates. Picture books, she said, brighten the mood and stimulate discussion.

But other educators, as well as celebrities and even the authors themselves, offered gems to read aloud for children of all ages to enjoy. Here are a few :

  • On Monday March 30, Kwame Alexander began daily reading aloud (and continuous reading) of his novel Crossing at 10:30 a.m. EST, Monday through Friday, on Instagram live.
  • RJ Palacio, author of Wonder, has a reading aloud of the first chapter available on Youtube.
  • Josh Gad, the voice of “Olaf” from the Disney Frozen movies, reads books aloud on his Twitter feed.
  • Country star and Imagination Library founder Dolly Parton is hosting a ‘Good Night with Dolly’ story time on the Facebook Imagination Library page, Thursday evenings.
  • offers a 21 Day Read Aloud Challenge for parents and children.
  • We Are Teachers has implemented the big, big list of over 50 authors read their books and other activities online.
  • Penguin Kids Publishing Company offers a “Live Story Aloud Hour” every day of the week at 11 am EST on their Instagram page.
  • Youtube channel Online scenario has tons of celebrities reading aloud, from Betty White to Rami Malek to Oprah.
  • Non-profit unit for literacy offers readings aloud in fiction and non-fiction in several languages.
  • KidLitTV offers both video and podcast read aloud.
  • NASA astronauts do Story time from space.

Ripp has also compiled his own list of out loud on his blog. While reading her Friday night online, she hopes to start with picture books and then over the weeks maybe add student book reviews and discussions.



Comments are closed.