How to...Read Along (ideas)

Updated: Aug 2

Well you're here to read along? Then let me give you some ideas of what I envisioned for Tom's Storytime 'Read Along Books', but at no point are these the only creative ways to use 'Read Along Books' and please feel free to share any ideas of how you've used Read Along (I can add your ideas to the bottom and republish - giving you credit of course).

Ideas below...

Read Along books are designed to be read by more than one person at a time, be it a child and the storyteller, a parent and their child, teacher and child or in any size group - and the possibilities are endless with the overriding goal of a child feeling connected with more than just a book, but also to grow a love of reading for life with all the amazing benefits it brings (see benefits of read along blog post).


The ways you read along can be adapted for paperback, ebook (kindle) or just reading along for free with Read Along and our New SRS feature which slows down reading. Below is a list of ways it can be used:


1. Follow Along to the Video


This can be done in a number of ways, but the principle is the same. Follow the words of the storyteller to help recognise patterns, shapes of words and sounds, no reading necessary, just improving listening skills which can be followed up with questions and answers.


2. Real Along as 'one'


However big the group you can read along as one. A great way for kids to connect with a story or reading or the class bonding (watch the cinema effect of laughter or surprise through emotive reading).

This can be done in a number of ways, using the paperbacks or ebooks to follow the story, going straight through from start to finish, stop and starting the video with each page, or simply reading along without the books on the big screen just using the captions.


3. Read Along in Chunks


A simpler way to follow for kids, is to chunk read and talk about the book as you go. This goes hand in hand with a variety of reading strategies, but in the most fun and engaging way.


4. Small Group Sectioning


Have groups read along as one, connecting them to their small groups or community and then pass the reading 'torch' onto the next group.


5. Pass the Torch


Have small groups or confident individuals read and pass along the story torch (not real - unless you want to make one) to carry on sections of the story, building confidence and pride helping associate good feelings with achievement.


6. Repeated


Play, pause, repeat (as a class). An easy and effective way to help kids understand words and patterns.


7. Educational Breakdown


Break down into phonics, slugs and dots, digraphs, trigraphs etc with the storyteller as a tool for sound and listening, helping kids connect with each word.


8. Read Along without Read Along


As a tool, there are so many benefits to read along, but kids can develop their reading before and after the read along then re-affirm either way.


9. Share Experiences


Always follow up reading by talking about the book, what happened and what they liked or what scared them, or made them happy etc. It's generally the re-cap and talking through of experiences that help with associations and develop a better understanding and connection to their reading experience.


10. Have Fun


Whatever you do should be fun and engaging. If for whatever reason they're not engaging then find a new strategy. Each child is an individual with different experiences, barriers and hopes. The key to Read Along is fighting learned helplessness while connecting kids to reading despite their background and experiences.

Remember books are the key to unlocking imagination, some kids might have their treasure chests locked deep within, but you have the master key and must find your own way of unlocking that box to reveal the magic within.


I hope these help and if you find any new and amazing ways to unlock those treasure chests, then please let me know by contacting me here.


As always...


Be Great! Be You!


Tom Story

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