Game4Learning and Reading Aloud

I logged on today and lo and behold, this interesting article popped up in my blog feed!

Game4Learning’s post about how to get her son to use self-expression and emphasis in his reading prompted me to pipe up – I wonder if it’s possible for you to read aloud with expression if you’re not actually reading the words?

So what do I mean by that? Surely if you’re reading you’re, well, reading? What I mean is the situation where you get a child who can decode Phonics with the best of them, blending away like nobody’s business, but has no comprehension of what it is they’ve actually read. They’ve gone through the mechanics of reading, but not got to the fun part yet. And that prompts me to wonder – how can you read with self expression if you’ve got no idea what is you’re supposed to be expressing?

Anyway, that was my take on it, my advice being to work on comprehension of texts before working on self expression when reading aloud. What I really wanted to blog about though was that Game4Learning’s question reminded me of a tv series I dearly loved when I was younger called Grim Tales. It was presented by Rik Mayall, and it was him telling the story of various fairy tales. It. Was. BRILLIANT. It’s storytelling at it’s absolute best, you can’t help but get drawn in by him as he moves about, playacting the story as he goes along, adding in voices and actions on the way. I remember being absolutely mesmerised by him when I was little and glued to the screen whenever he rocked up in that bizarre wingbacked ostrich-legged chair (yes, you did read that right – OSTRICH LEGGED).

If ever there was a guy who read with self expression, it was Rik Mayall in Grim Tales. Sadly (criminally, in my titchy opinion) there’s no DVDs available, only a few VHS’s being sold for silly money on Amazon. However, some kind souls have put up various recordings on YouTube, so if you really want to entertain yourself for 10 minutes, just search for them on there. Seriously, I really recommend you peek. After all, if they can survive almost twenty years(!) of my dodgy memory, they really must be something special.

Thanks to Game4Learning for nudging my memories – really appreciate it, and hope your boy’s reading satisfies the Powers That Be that test him 🙂

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