6 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Read Aloud to Your Middle Schoolers

6 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Read Aloud to Your Middle Schoolers

Despite the fact that middle schoolers think they’re grown, from time to time they enjoy being treated like the kids they truly are. One thing that elementary students have owned is their love for storytime – but this doesn’t have to be just for the little ones. My students absolutely love to be read to, and there is good reason for it.

Hearing fluent readers is important for understanding passages and improving their own skills. How many times have we, as adults, read something to ourselves and had no idea what was going on until we took our time to read it aloud? Giving your students an opportunity to listen to books is a great way to build their skills and stamina for reading and it’s fun! Here are some other reasons why you should totally read aloud to your middle schoolers.

1. Hearing fluent readers helps with their own independent reading skills.

You don’t just have to read longer texts such as novels aloud to your students. Reading aloud also helps with day-to-day passages in class. Listening to voice tone and inflection helps students understand important cues that they otherwise may have missed while reading independently. Modeling what texts should sound like can make connections for students when independently rereading that same text because it allows them to move past simple comprehension into a deeper analysis.

2. It’s educational “downtime”

Ever want a relaxing day at work? Well, that probably means you signed up for the wrong profession. But reading aloud to your students is just as relaxing as it gets. If you’re looking for something to do after you’ve finished your lesson early or you have a rare and precious flex day in your calendar, reading to your students is a great way to keep them engaged and learning while at the same time giving you a moment to enjoy a story right along with them.

3. It’s an awesome incentive

Looking for a way to motivate your class? Finding a high-interest book and using it as a reward is an easy (and inexpensive) way to incentivize learning. I like to give my students a measurable and attainable goal (i.e. if we can get 100% participation for homework for a week) so that they have something to work toward. To sweeten the deal, I allow students to bring their own snacks to eat while they listen. Food and a good story – what’s not to love?

4. It’s common core aligned

Looking to talk about theme? Tone and Mood? Character development? Citing evidence? Making claims? All of these can be done with a read-aloud book. It’s the perfect way to keep teaching the standards beyond your curriculum and to question students in real-time. They will enthusiastically answer those same questions that you pulled teeth for just a few minutes ago with a different text!

5. It’s fun!

Between test prep and trying to make sure you cover your scope and sequence, you sometimes forget what made you fall in love with reading in the first place. Kids will complain and say they hate to read all day, but if you ask them about their favorite book, I guarantee they will vividly recall one they enjoyed. Sustaining the joy of reading is invaluable.

6. It’s a great way to add diversity and inclusion in your classroom

Choosing diverse books is a great way for students to learn that there is a world and people outside of where they live. It’s also a way for students who don’t see themselves reflected in the curriculum literature to have a voice that is heard and valued. Reading your students a variety of gender, race, and religion-inclusive of books can pick up the slack where many of these curricula fall short.

Check out this article that gives 30 book suggestions to read aloud to your students and get started! Even though they won’t always say it, I know your students will enjoy the wonderful stories you read!

Come join the conversation in the #teacherlife community!

Also Check Out:

30 of The Best Read-Aloud Books For Middle School

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Asha Sellers


Asha is a 7th-grade ELA teacher, new mom, and Army wife. She likes to take her dogs, Langston Chews and Zulu, to the park and play board games. Her favorite things are eating, going out to eat, and the smell of food being cooked.

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