The possibilities in reading aloud

This week I had the pleasure of going around to classrooms, introducing myself as the new literacy teacher, and reading aloud to the kids. I loved it! It reminded me of the power of a well-chosen book – how it can build community, provide laughs, and allow you to connect to a group of kids in a matter of minutes.  In one fifth-grade class I read Rod Clement’s Grandpa’s Teeth. They loved the story and begged for me to read it again. For the rest of the week when I saw these kids they yelled “Grandpa’s Teeth – I love that book!” and “that was such a funny book you read – when are you coming back again?” What a great way to feel welcomed in my new school.

Whether you are teaching preschoolers, first graders, fifth graders or middle schoolers – don’t forget the many possibilities that a carefully chosen book can provide in your classroom. We believe that children should be read to daily – numerous times. Read alouds can be used in all subject areas, as well as just to connect, laugh and enjoy together. Below are a few of our favorite read alouds. In Catching Readers Before They Fall, (Appendix 8 ) you can find a lengthy list of favorite read alouds for a variety of purposes. And of course, talking to other teachers and spending a few hours in your favorite bookstore or library are some of the best ways to find your favorites.

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg

The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

Tough Cookie by David Wisniewski

Rough-Face Girl, by Rafe Martin

Every Living Thing, short stories by Cynthia Rylant

(thanks to literacy specialist Tania Dedham for some of these great suggestions for upper grade students!)

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

Skippyjon Jones series by Judy Schachner

Toot and Puddle series by Holly Hobbie

The Baby Beebee Bird by Diane Redfield Massie

ALL of Mo Willems’ books!

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Edward the Emu, by Sheena Knowles

Owl Moon, by Martin Waddell

See Donalyn Miller’s (The Book Whisperer) blog for more great read aloud ideas, especially for your upper grade students.

What are some of your favorite read alouds? Please share!

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