I would start with this article…
Reading out loud is not just for “Children”. I know that this article uses the word children throughout the entity of the entire article. HOWEVER, replace every “children” with “students” and it applies to any age student. Yes, it is vital to read aloud to little kids. They don’t know how to read themselves yet and they need to hear how it is supposed to sound. I, however, think it is vital to keep the spirit of reading aloud alive—even into high school age.
This article talks about comprehension levels as well as confidence. Both are proven to go up when reading is done aloud in a classroom. High school is a time of drama, gossip, judgment, and self-reflection. If we, as teachers, give students a voice in class, a chance to speak, we are giving them empowerment. We are allowing them a voice. “No longer limited either to rapid word-calling or to stumbling over print, children (STUDENTS) will discover that, with practice and guidance, they can become more fluent, purposeful, and effective readers of the kinds of print material that had previously frustrated or befuddled them. And with repeated success, their confidence levels will rise.” The key is repeated success. We have to have classrooms that allow students to make mistakes that they learn from, not that they get scarred or damaged from. By this, I mean, let the student try sounding out a word and if they can’t get it, help them. Don’t let them get it from the student’s whisper next to them. Show them that they have the ability to figure out the word all on their own. In addition, we also see a rise in comprehension when readings are read aloud. “Once children become familiar and comfortable with a text, they are then in a position to make discoveries about the different kinds of meanings (both denotative and connotative) that may emerge from their interaction with the text” (Apol & Harris 1999).
So, that’s WHY.
- Qualitative measures: The article is simply laid out for the student to read. It is split up into sections. It requires very little knowledge demand.
- Quantitative measures:Again, can be read with ease. Maybe send it home at night and go over the next day—pointing out important information. The sentence length is average—no run on’s or short snips.
- Reader & Task:As for prior knowledge and experiences, everyone has played popcorn or been asked to read in front of class. Motivation to read it? Well, they will be reading out loud for other texts in the set, so they should now WHY they have to.
The question I would ask students would be WHY? Why would I MAKE you read out loud?
Category. “Collected Works – Edgar Allan Poe.” Books & Literature Classics. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 201
Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 – 1849
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love–
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me–
Yes!–that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we–
Of many far wiser than we–
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling–my darling–my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
This poem is about Edgar Allan Poe’s love life. We would have done some research on him before reading this in class. But I believe this is a text that needs to be read out loud because of the sing-song-y-ness of it. It reads beautifully and I think students need to hear that to appreciate it.
- Qualitative measures: This poem requires a bit of background knowledge. As I said, we would have done some research beforehand so that it was easier to understand.
- Quantitative measures: Not the easiest poem to read. But when I am reading it with them, I would focus less on the content and more on the sounds or the music that you hear when you’re reading it. The sentence structure is laid out in an interesting manner. There are a lot of semi colons.
- Reader & Task: Again, background info is a must if you are shooting for understanding of the poem. If you are reading it out loud to just hear the words, rhymes, and syllable structure, you don’t need too much background info.
I would use Annabel Lee to go over rhyme patterns and the musical aspect that comes with poetry. I would not go too into the actual content of the poem because we are just reading out loud to HEAR it, not quite understand it. This is why it is #2 in the text set. In the next text, we will dig a little deeper with a different, shorter, but rich poem.
The question I would ask students would be why poetry should be read outloud?
In a Station of the Metro
Ezra Pound, 1885 – 1972
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
This is the whole poem. I would have students read it in their head, ask someone to read it out loud, read it out loud myself, then dig deep into conversation.
The conversation could go like so….
Me: David, could you read the first line one more time?
D: Sure. The apparition of these faces in the crowd
Me: Thanks and what do you think this could maybe be saying about these faces, Kaylee?
K: It says they are faces in a crowd…and they are doing apparition…
Me: Perfect! And apparition means what?…anyone?
J: Does it mean like ghost-like?
Me: GOOD! Yes! It means they are appearing and disappearing quickly. And the title of the poem is “In a Station of the Metro”. Why might that be important?
G:Well, a metro is a subway and things go fast in there…like people move fast and the train is fast.
Me: Awesome. Good. Let us move on to line two, who can read that aloud again? Megan?
M: Petals on a wet, black bough.
Me: Perfect, yea, that is pronounced Bow like take a bow. A bough is a big tree branch. When would a tree branch be wet and black?
Me: Yes and wet maybe because it rained, right? Well, you didn’t know this before because I didn’t tell you, but this poem takes place in Paris and Paris subways are always wet and black. What is being compared then here? Anyone?
K: Faces in the subway are being compared to flowers on a tree branch?
Me: Perfect. There! You guys did it. You dissected the poem. Did you think that 2 lines would have that much of meaning? Do you see how powerful words are? How useful the right combinations of vocabulary can be? Why do you think I made you read it out loud? And why so many times?
J: Because it made us think about it not just by looking, but saying the words. Like, I didn’t know Bough was pronounced like that. I would have skipped over it if I was just reading it in my head.
- Qualitative measures: This poem can be figured out with a teachers help. It is not one that I would send home and let them figure out alone.
- Quantitative measures: Other than the word Bough, it is easy to read. It is 2 lines and one sentence total.
- Reader & Task: The reader is assigned to dissect, to pick it apart, to dig deeper for meaning. This digging will help them in future readings when ideas might not be on the surface, but a level below.
The question, as mentioned in the conversation would be Why did I have us read it out loud multiple times? What is the point?
This is Katie Makkai and she performs her poem “Pretty”. Is it extremely emotional and could make even the most emotionless people feel something. She talks about the stress in society now a days to be pretty and how people undergo surgery to feel like they are worth something.
- Qualitative measures: This poem fits a lot of emotion into a few minutes. There is a lot said and it might have to be watched twice to catch it all. I might have groups listen for certain words or phrases to help make it easier to have a conversation about later.
- Quantitative measures: She literally is yelling at you when she is presenting. It keeps your attention and is not that difficult to understand.
- Reader & Task: As a listener, the students would be jotting down lines that stuck out to them, the lines that really made them think or hit them hard.
I went with a video for the next text in my set. Now that the students have read poetry out loud and heard it, they can hear it from a professional and hopefully appreciate it. It is cool for students to feel emotion just from listening to someone reading their work out loud. I feel like it could inspire students to want to create their own and read them aloud.
Some questions to keep in mind would be how does she get your attention? Is this poetry? How is it different or similar to reading poetry?
The next text Hamlet’s Soliloquy, the famous “To be or Not to be” reading from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It is when Shakespeare is debating life, what it means to be alive, and his own journey so far.
- Qualitative measures: The soliloquy itself is very complex. However, at this point, we have looked at other complex readings and the should be okay—not intimidated.
- Quantitative measures: It is a long speech—that is what a soliloquy is. I think hearing it and reading it at the same time will help with comprehension.
- Reader & Task: The task is for the student to hear the words, listen to them, and read them at the same time. They should be able to imagine him debating life by himself.
I decided on this for the next text because Shakespeare is inevitable in high school. Plays were written to be watched—not read. I like the idea of focusing in on this soliloquy and hearing it from not just a classmate but someone out of the room and having a visual as well. It gives more opportunity for understanding.
A question for the students to keep in mind when listening/watching, did you get more out of the reading that time than when you read it once before? Why? What did you pull out of it this time that you might have missed last time?
I saved my infographic for last. What it is, is a quiz to figure out what type of aloud reader you are.
- Qualitative measures: The only background information you need is what you know about yourself. It measures your desire to read in front of people or dislike for it.
- Quantitative measures: Every bubble is filled with 1-3 sentences. It is simple to follow.
- Reader & Task: The task is for the student to take the quiz and turn it in for me. It is also good for the student themselves because they might not know where they stand on the topic.
I used this type of text because I would like my students to make their own infographics and by showing them mine, they can see that it is not too difficult to accomplish. Besides this, it shows me what type of class, on average, I have.
Question to think about when doing it: What kind of infographic would I like to make? (related to Language Arts)