December Literacy Tip

Happy Holidays Colleagues,

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house …”
How many of you remember this fun holiday story?  Reading aloud creates lasting, positive memories for children of all ages; it opens up many levels of reading conversation between students and teachers.  Reading aloud is a widely accepted practice for young children but not so much for the middle and high school students.  Research indicates that reading aloud is extremely beneficial for ALL ages.  Listed below are just a few reasons why it is worth the time:

  • Motivates students to want to read and to learn
  • Builds positive social relationships between teachers and students
  • Develops background knowledge and vocabulary
  • Teaches skills and conventions of language
  • Increases understanding of the targeted language
  • Enhances curriculum content learning
  • Models appropriate phrasing, inflection, and fluency
  • Introduces different writing styles and genres
  • Introduces a variety of authors and their voices

During this holiday season give your students the gift of a positive, lasting memory – read aloud some of the suggested holiday selections.  A few of my favorite are:

  • The Children of Christmas Short Stories for the Season by Cynthia Rylant
  • The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
  • “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote
  • Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
  • Hershel and the Hannukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
  • The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

Books make wonderful gifts, too.  They last a lifetime and can be passed down from generation to generation.  Make this holiday season a literacy rich experience for you and your students.
For more information on reading aloud see Strategic Reading in the Content Areas by Rachel Billmeyer pages 220-222.  Check out the Literacy and Learning Trilogy at

Please share this email with interested colleagues and parents.  Interested readers can go to to sign up for future Literacy Tips.  Add other holiday books to the list and return the list back to me.  Thank you and have a happy holiday season!

Rachel & Associates