Top tips for reading stories aloud

Here are a few ideas that you could use to liven up story time.

  • Do the voices Try to make sure each character talks differently – this makes the story come to life for the listeners.  You could try making them talk higher or deeper, faster or slower, or even in different accents. If you have trouble thinking up voices, ask your audience to give you ideas for how a certain character might talk – they could even read one character's lines for you...
  • Get with the programme Make sure you have a regular slot in which to read every day.  This makes sure you don't forget about it, and stops everyone forgetting the plot! (This idea is used by lots of soaps, where there are lots of different stories to keep in mind, like Hollyoaks or Neighbours).
  • Go for a journey If you have a regular reading time every day, choose a longer chapter book.  It'll be more of an experience for you and your listener, and helps build their memory and understanding.
  • Keep them guessing Ask questions every so often to find out what everyone thinks might happen next. This can help to build the suspense and make it more interesting for your listeners...
  • Make sure they're still with you Recap what's happened every few pages to make sure your listeners know what's going on (especially important if they're younger).
  • Always leave 'em wanting more Quit reading at an exciting point in the story – maybe at the end of a chapter or even in the middle of a sentence! TV dramas use cliffhangers like this to make sure their audience comes back tomorrow to find out what happened – yours will too.

National Literacy Trust   National Literacy Trust © 2020         About us  |  Accessibility |  Legal stuff  |  Competition terms and conditions