Read alouds in kindergarten are one of my favorite things to do in the classroom. Personally, I enjoy reading a good book and being taken away to a land of imagination. As a teacher, it’s my job to instill a love for reading in my students. One way to do that is by actually reading. With Youtube having so many books read online, I’ve noticed a decline in teachers actually reading aloud to their students. Why are read alouds in kindergarten so important? Let’s chat about it.
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Read alouds in Kindergarten Help Develop Early Literacy Skills
Read alouds play a vital role in introducing students to the foundational aspects of literacy, setting the stage for their future reading and writing development. Here’s a breakdown of how read alouds support the development of letter recognition, phonics, and word awareness:
During read aloud sessions, teachers can use books that prominently feature letters or utilize alphabet books specifically designed for this purpose. By pointing out and discussing individual letters as they appear in the text or illustrations, kindergarteners start recognizing and associating letters with their corresponding sounds. As students learn the alphabet, they can join in with you on saying the letters.
During the first month of school, one of my favorite read alouds is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. It’s the perfect introduction to letters. After reading a few times, and sometimes during the first read, students are able to join in on repetitive parts of the book. I like to start using letter cards after reading the book. Any kind will do. You can grab these free letters here. You can learn more about how I play it here.
Read alouds provide opportunities for children to hear and identify the sounds of letters and letter combinations. Teachers can emphasize the sounds of different letters, phonemes, and blends, helping children make connections between spoken and written words. Introducing rhyming books or stories with repetitive word patterns can further reinforce phonics skills and phonemic awareness.
Introducing rhyming words is pretty difficult in kindergarten. Being able to add in a book that contains rhymes, is fun to listen to and has wonderful teaching themes is perfect. Hands down my go book that has rhyming for the beginning of the school year is The Little School Bus. In addition to teaching rhyming and listening for rhymes, we introduce setting and characters.
There are a handful of characters and it’s great to introduce characters with a book that has more than one. We can even go as far as learning to describe the characters by what sets them apart. We end our Little School Bus week with a craft that helps us retell the story. It’s such a cute way for students to take the story home with them and retell it to their parents or siblings. You can grab the yearlong bundle of read aloud activities for kindergarten here.
As teachers read aloud, children are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary. By hearing words in context, students learn about word meanings and develop their understanding of how words function in sentences. They start to recognize high-frequency words and become familiar with the structure and syntax of the English language.
This is why teaching vocabulary with your read alouds is so important. Teachers can also engage students in interactive activities during read alouds to enhance word awareness. For example, they can ask children to identify words that rhyme, clap syllables, or participate in word-building exercises using magnetic letters or word cards.
Read alouds provide a rich language experience that supports young learners in developing letter recognition, phonics skills, and word awareness. By regularly engaging in these activities, kindergarteners become more confident in their ability to decode words, understand basic spelling patterns, and make meaningful connections between spoken and written language.
These foundational skills lay the groundwork for their future reading and writing success. Transform your kindergarten read alouds into immersive and comprehensive learning experiences with The Literacy Diner’s extensive collection of read aloud activities. Discover how the lesson plans, vocabulary pictures, response sheets, crafts, assessments, anchor chart headers, and interactive notebook pieces can enhance your teaching and captivate your students throughout the year.