Reading out loud to kids, regardless of how old they are, is about so much more than just a way to kill twenty or thirty minutes, right? That’s because it lends itself so naturally to “teachable moments” without sounding teachy or preachy. Connecting a story to personal experiences (yours and theirs), other books and stories, or even other academic subjects is pretty darn cool. Reading aloud is often a springboard for more meaningful discussions that might otherwise seem forced or phony.
But what I really want to know is this: When a kid says, “Aw, man! I want you to keep reading.” Is it because (a) the story is so captivating, (b) my voice, like a waterfall of liquid gold, is so pleasing to listen to, or (c) students know that the longer I read, the less work they have to do? Probably a combination of a and c.