30 May 2016

Read alouds that may be a bit obscure

As a classroom teacher, it's part of my job (and a favorite part!) to find books to read to my students. I try to expose them to a wide range of genres and authors. Some of the books that I read this year are a little older and more obscure, but the kids loved them.

Here's a list:

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: obviously, with a Harry Potter theme, I HAD to read this one. It's so much fun to read aloud, especially when about half of the class hasn't read it. I do voices, and that's a blast. I had more than half of my class finish the series after we read this one. Win!

2. Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back: I'd never heard of this gem by Shel Silverstein until this year. It took a couple of days to read, and the kids loved it. It's the story of a lion who begins to think that he's human, and then works at finding a place to fit in...but does he really fit in?

3. Naya Nuki: Shoshone Girl Who Ran: to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Ken Thomasma. His writing style just doesn't really click with me. However, my kiddos really loved this story. It went along so well with our Idaho History unit, and we even incorporated Naya Nuki into our Lewis and Clark play this year. It makes history a lot more interesting when you can inject some literature into it.

4. Snow Treasure: this is an old favorite of mine. World War II is my favorite historical era, and I love reading books from multiple perspectives. For a lot of my kiddos, this was their first exposure to the time period. They were so into the story! They worried about the characters and hoped they'd be okay. It was fun to make predictions with them about what was going to happen.

5. Stone Fox: Here's one that we attempted to read during the Iditarod. We didn't quite make it, but it was still cool to talk about the dog race and read a story about a smaller one. Also, it's heartbreaking, so good luck getting through it without crying. I cried and so did a few of my kiddos. Overall, we really enjoyed the story.

6. The Trumpet of the Swan: An old childhood favorite really came to life while reading it to my class. I'm not going to lie...they were bugged to death by the cob! Then again, so was I. We started adding "swanlike" to every line he said, and laughed hysterically while we were at it. They really liked the story though, and we had some interesting philosophical discussions about if and when it was okay to break a law. My kiddos are deep thinkers, and they really thought it through.

Read alouds are such an important part of classroom instruction. What better way to model fluency and good oral reading skills? The kids love it, and so do I.