Many children love to see themselves in pictures and in videos. They make silly faces and beg to see how the picture turned out. They ham it up for the video camera and then want to watch the clip over and over again. Why not use this desire as a way to practice oral reading?
Most laptops or tablets these days come with a built in video camera. You can use a simple video recording program like the photobooth on a Mac to record yourself speaking. This is a great opportunity to let your child listen to their own reading and make improvements.
Make a Book Selection
Allow your child to choose a short book to read for the video. Encourage them to choose a book that is within their reading ability so they are not discouraged by too many difficult words. Older students may want to choose just a chapter from a book or even just a page or two.
Give your child time to practice reading the book before recording. Making them videotape first without practicing will set them up for discouragement as they try to sight read through a new story. Have them read it silently several times first. Then they can practice reading it out loud as well. Remind them to watch for punctuation clues as they read and to read smoothly.
Record a Video
Have your child sit in front of the computer and hold the book without hiding their face from the camera. Start the video recorder and let your child begin reading. Remember it’s digital so it is perfectly fine to stop and start over if your child wants to.
Watch and Learn
Once your child has finished recording their book, allow them to watch their video. They may want to watch it several times. The first time watching it try to focus on the positive things they did. Compliment tricky words that they said correctly or the way they showed emotion in their voices. The second time through make suggestions as to ways they could improve. You could even ask them what they think they could do better. Watching a video of themselves reading could give them some insight into areas that they struggle with more than just telling them to fix certain things.
Watching themselves on a video is a fun way to help your child improve their oral reading skills. If your child likes his video, you could even post it online so other people can watch it too! What other fun oral reading activities have you tried with your children?