The book has been picked out, your little one is sitting in your lap ready to hear a story, you’ve been singing “Top to bottom, left to right”, you’ve opened the book, and now, you need to channel your inner thespian. You need to read with feeling………excitement, sadness, happiness, mama voices, daddy voices, baby voices, silly dog voices, and big scary monster voices! You need to throw your self into the book and make it come alive!
Why all the drama? Because children learn by example. They watch, they listen, they imitate.
Your tracking finger pauses at a comma, your voice pauses. Stopping at a period, your voice stops and goes down. At a question mark, your voice stops and goes up slightly. When it stops at an exclamation mark, no telling what happened! Excitement? Fear? Jubilation? Eventually, when quotation marks appear, you say, “I see quotation marks, someone must be talking.” Ahhhhh, don’t you just love it…..teaching your child and they don’t even realize it.
Add the drama and you make every sentence you read jump off the page. The first time you see your child to pretend to read a book with Oscar worthy acting, you will know you have done your job. You have given them another skill to take to kindergarten. Reading with feeling and emotion takes practice and very few children arrive in first grade with the skill. They weren’t exposed to the skill enough.
When a child reads with feeling and emotion, pausing at commas and stopping at periods, they have a better chance of understanding what they are reading. Being able to read words is not enough. You also have to be able to visualize and comprehend what is being read. Drama can help with that.
Speaking of drama….who do you think gets picked for the great speaking parts in class plays? You got it…..the children that can speak and read with feeling and emotion!