About a week ago I read the most wonderful Twitter thread on read alouds. I’ve been meaning ever since to add my two cents here on the blog.
One of the tweets said something to the effect of “I remember every book ever read aloud to me in school.” In terms of novels, so do I. My fourth grade teacher read us Charlotte’s Web. Probably a little every day after recess … I don’t recall. What I do remember is this: every day after riding the bus home I would retell the part read in school to my mom. I retold the entire story to my mom, one chapter at a time.
We lived on a farm, so I’m guessing the story was read in the deep of winter because otherwise Mom would have been out in the field working. As it was, she was usually down in the basement cracking walnuts by hand. I’d go on down and retell Charlotte’s Web to her as sort of a captive audience. But I remember she always seemed excited and eager to listen. What a good mom.
Needless to say, I loved the story.
My fifth grade teacher read us The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Wow! Even though I think in fifth grade we were starting to think we were too old and too cool to be read to, it wasn’t true. Again, it was wonderful. I didn’t read widely in elementary school and probably because we didn’t actually have a library at our school or a librarian so it was hard to find books I enjoyed more than playing outside. But I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and of course went on to read all of the Narnia books many times over and even write a paper in college referencing the Chronicles of Narnia.
I didn’t own many books as a child, but my husband and I raised our two kids to be readers, and readers they are! We read aloud to them until the day they grabbed the books out of our hands and starting reading to us!
It’s no great wonder why audiobooks are so popular; they are after all, just someone reading aloud to us.
Do you have special read aloud memories? I hope so. Feel free to share in the comments.