"The Bear" Read Aloud
Yesterday I did my read aloud for my group and I have to admit at first I felt a little stupid reading a book to my friends the way I read to children with inflection in my voice and different tones and so on. Nevertheless I went ahead (despite afew management problems, ha, ha) and it started to feel alot more natural. It really doesn't matter how old you are, people just enjoy being read to. I know I do when Cathy reads the Giver every class. It's really nice just to put your head down and listen to someone tell a good story.
This exercise also made me realize that reading a book aloud is a skill. Sure anyone who can read can pick up a book and read what is written to a group of children, but it takes a certain skill to use changes in your voice, pacing to bring anticipation and suspense, movement of the book, facial expressions, and so on to really tell a story and get the audience involved.
The book I chose for my read aloud is called "The Bear" by John Schoenherr which is a beautifully illustrated narrative non-fiction account of a young bear doing his best to survive on his own in the harsh wilderness once his mother left. It appealed to me personally for the amazing watercolour illustrations of the bear and the stark northern landscape as well as the real-life survival story, and I really think it is important to include a collection of non-fiction in the classroom as Cathy said they appeal more to boys and of course we want to have books that are interesting to all children. Yet I think most classes focus much more on fiction books. We need to make sure we have a balance.