Action-Packed Reading

12 Jan

It is amazing how many great ideas other teachers have. I love chatting with my teacher friends and picking their brains. One of my friends, Paola, has given me a great idea for my future read-alouds. Now not to toot my own horn (toot-toot) but I am really good at reading aloud. I love sharing a story with students and watching them sit there with their mouths slightly agape and drawing pencils frozen mid-doodle because they are wrapped up in the book. I tend to read aloud with my students primarily for enjoyment, but Paola has devised a tricky way to sneak some serious learning in as well (similar to how my mother used to sneak shredded veggies into our muffins).

To enhance what the students are focused on when they are writing, Paola will ask them to actively listen for instances of that during their read aloud. She explained to the students that literary devices are “Gifts of Words” that authors give to their reader. She asks her students to focus on hearing these “gifts” and then, when they hear them, they make a corresponding motion to show that they have found a “gift.” This is a great method to include all of the students; the ones who need to be heard all the time and the shy ones who are more hesitant to speak. I can just picture her classroom being an excited wave of motion as the students participate fully in her read aloud.

As a class, you can choose your own actions to make the motions personal, but here are a few examples of the reading wiggles that Paola has brought into her classroom:

alliteration: tap their head

 simile: superhero arms

description: touch their nose

 metaphors: tug their ears

juicy words: mime biting into a juicy apple


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