Reading aloud offers dads and moms a way to introduce children to the great variety that exists in the world of books. Children learn about different types of books, such as poetry, short stories, science books and joke books.
Each type of book has a different structure. For example, stories usually have a beginning that describes the setting and main characters, a middle that tells about a problem that the main character or characters face, and an end that shows how the problem was resolved. In contrast, a non-fiction book about frogs will be structured according to different topics related to frogs.
For instance, the first chapter might be about different types of frogs, followed by chapters on anatomy, habitats, place in the web of life, reproduction and life cycle, and interaction with humans. Knowledge of the different structures of different types of books helps children understand what they hear dads read or what they read on their own silently and also helps them to write in the same style.
Knowledge of books also includes knowing about well-known books, such as The Hungry Caterpillar and Charlotte’s Web. Similarly, when kids listen to dads and moms read aloud to them, children discover new authors, such as Dr Seuss, and new book series. These discoveries inspire children to want more books by the same author or in the same series. Come on dad, go for reading aloud to your kids!
Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It's fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!
- George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.
Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including "The Read Aloud Guide", textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children's storybooks).
Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.