Children gain book smarts by reading aloud to dogs | Stuff.co.nz
Children are reading aloud to dogs to boost their book-smarts in an innovative project.
Is anyone else a little miffed by this article? I mean, good on them for thinking outside of the box and involving children in the process of animal rehabilitation and the inclusion of canine expertise in facilitating the practice of the juvenile reading process, but really?
There is no doubt that reading aloud helps children improve their reading ability, their decoding skills, and their fluency. These are all things that are a feature of many primary school classrooms around the country. Daily 5, a literacy programme that I run in my class features this as a focus for students to do exactly that – practise reading out loud to someone. Students will read with emotion and try and read so that they make sense to their buddy. Their buddy can help with coaching and support.
But at what stage did we replace reading to someone else with reading to dogs? At what point did reading to your Mum and Dad at night before bed become ancient history? Have we become so lazy or so busy and so self-indulged in our own life that we no longer put any time or effort into spending time nurturing, growing, and supporting our children? At what point did we relegate the task of reading out loud to dogs?
And if the only “fun” in reading is in direct relation to hungry animals, then I suspect sales in “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” might spike during January.
Next holidays however, there is going to be a relative shortage of dogs as they attend the National Writing Convention, and so I am going to be busy training houseplants how to listen to children read and offer support to them. I may even start by putting little bandanas around them so they know to calm down and stop running around like crazy trees.