Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fourteen Fantastic Hints on Reading Aloud, by Mem Fox Queen of Read Aloud

Are you visiting my blog today because you've read in press releases and blogs all over the internet that I will be posting Ten Terrific Tips on Reading Aloud from Mem Fox? Voila! Book Chook magic has enabled me to present not ten but Fourteen Fantastic Hints, right here, right now. 
(Okay, I never said I was a mathematician!)  
One of the world's most famous and loved children's writers, and international consultant in literacy, Mem Fox is also known as The Queen of Read-Aloud. Her book, Reading Magic, has become a bible for many parents because it is crammed full of ideas for turning kids on to reading. Mem's own website is a treasure trove of useful information for writers, parents and lovers of children's literature. I especially love listening to her read three of her own stories aloud. 

When I explained about Share a Story - Shape a Future to Mem, she  generously sent me her hints for reading aloud. As she explained, the hints are intended for those who want to read aloud to a small group, but are immediately adjustable to a one-on-one situation.

Fourteen Fantastic Hints on Reading Aloud
by Mem Fox, Queen of Read Aloud
•    Ensure your audience sits close to you and close to each other
•    Welcome everyone with roving eye-contact on the first couple of lines
•    Entice, like a high-powered salesperson, with the first line
•    Remember to make the phrases into beautiful, lilting, up & down music
•    Paint pictures by visualising the scenes and the emotions 
•    Change vocally: high/low; loud/soft; fast/slow
•    Speak the verbs (action words) with animation for lively reading 
•    Fall in love with the pause
•    Don’t over-express: it’s embarrassing—just hang loose and have fun
•    Don’t be ruled by rhyme endings
•    Make the last line v-e-r-y slow indeed
•    Say goodbye to everyone with roving eye-contact on the last lines
•    Never read anything aloud that you don’t like yourself 
•    Enjoy yourself and throw yourself into it to stop yourself from being boring!
I very much admire the way Mem takes six words to say something so eloquently, where I would need a whole paragraph! "Fall in love with the pause" is great advice, so I'm pausing right now. Okay, I lied. But ... soon!
Stop by my blog again today, for a much wordier, far less eloquent, but equally enthusiastic take on reading aloud, the Book Chook way. And find out how to conquer read-aloud stage fright, from Sarah Mulhern of The Reading Zone.
Why not visit some more blogs participating in Share a Story- Shape a Future? You can keep up with what's happening all over the blogosphere at the Share a Story blog. If you have a post related to our Read Aloud theme, leave your link in the comments and I'll add it to my post here, under "And then...".
Be sure to visit these blogs next!
And then...  

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