Posted in Books

Chapter 3 – The Stages of Read-Aloud

The main thing that struck me (again) in chapter 3 is that I really wish I had read this book before I had kids.  I think it may be on my list of baby shower gifts.  In chapter 3 Trelease breaks down read-alouds at different ages and stages of development.  I found it particularly helpful that he highlights the key features of each age and some recommended books.

Infants: “… parents frequently read aloud books and stories that rhyme.” (page 49)

Toddlers: “As much as possible you want the child to interact with you and the book” (page 51) “labelling the environment” (page 52)

Some other key things that jumped out at me:

  • Taking a short time to introduce the book and some unknown vocabulary prior to reading can increase learning benefits.
  • The transition from picture book to novel should be smooth.

While you don’t want to drown the child in words, you do want to unconsciously entice him away from a complete dependence on illustrations for comprehension and into more words. (page 57)

  • I love how he discusses the difference between novels that are meant to be read aloud and those that should be read silently.  I hadn’t thought about it before but  it is a great point!  There are some things that need to be processed more slowly as you read to yourself but others that have so much more power when you hear them.  This is a concept I would like to further explore.
  • bowdlerize 1: to expurgate (as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar 2: to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content (Merriam-Webster app).  I learned a new word!
  • I love the rule of 50!  I don’t know why I haven’t come across this before but I am totally using this in my own reading.


Proud mother of 3, Kaitlyn, Eileen & Michael Kindergarten Teacher

5 thoughts on “Chapter 3 – The Stages of Read-Aloud

  1. I sometimes talk about vocabulary words before reading — but usually talk about words during the reading. That can interrupt the flow of the story (like Jim says on Deborah’s Q&A post today). This book just keeps inspiring me and reminding me of what impact we can make through reading.

  2. Love the book! Love the analogy of rhyme to a mother’s heartbeat. maybe that is why I love music and rhyme so very much. The first sound a baby hears is inside the womb and it only continues to affect the child’s brain development throughout life. The Ping Pong dialoge that allows children to express themselves helps to develop language and vocabulary skills but also reinforces the idea that to question is to learn and it is okay to use your voice for that. What a wonderful bit of practice before the podium of formal school.

    1. He states that when you’re throwing words at children you’re sometimes “playing verbal darts” (51) unless you play “ping pong” using questions and comments to aid in comprehension. Amazingly when we read aloud even to infants, attention spans can last from 3 minutes offered at varied times in the day to sustain eventually to 30 minutes a day.

      1. Also loved the kindergarten teacher who read 100 books a year to her class and 10 to 12 chapter books read aloud. Vocabulary, complex thinking and longer attention times will naturally develop while learning a passion for books! So beautiful that I think Detroit schools should follow the advice in this book. Its only a read away.

  3. Love Jim Trelease’s “The Read ALoud Handbook”. The million copy bestseller is one of the best books I have eer read Just finished it and wish my children were little again! Love the no nonsense approach to by simply reading aloud to infants, children, those with disabilities and anyone encourages brain development and increases white matter in the brain> what a great way to learn.

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