Monday, June 25, 2018

Getting Hooked on Books

How can we get kids fired up about reading? We need to start with a spark. 
I view my read alouds as just that. I am a firm believer in setting aside a time each and every day for a read aloud and third graders are not too old for this. My kids and I both love this time.  It is precious for many reasons. One of the most important being that during this time I not only model good reading strategies, but I also impart and instill in my students a deep love of books and reading. I feel it is important to share our enthusiasm for what we are can be infectious. 

Here is our gathering spot. It includes a chair and a little table on which I can display the book of the day.  My genre signs and nonfiction text posters are hanging close by so we can refer to them prior to reading our book.  
My story souvenir suitcase includes vocabulary word cards, background photos or story props. 

Of course the most important part of the process is picking the books.

Here are some of the most memorable ones from the past year.

Stuart Goes to School
Stuart's Cape
The Amazing World of Stuart

Of course I must make mention of my collection of Stuart books.
Stuart Goes to School is the very first chapter book I read aloud to my students on that very first week of school.
Stuart is a likeable, relatable character. We moaned, groaned, laughed and cheered alongside him as he faced many trials and tribulations during his first days at school.
My kids couldn't wait to get their hands of the other two books in this series.

I could see the impact these books had on the faces of my kids while reading. The Chalk Box Kid and The Hundred Dresses are two books that I think left the biggest mark on my students.  They help to teach compassion and kindness through characters who are facing hard times.

My third graders loved reading the Stories Julian Tells. Each chapter is a different story.  We loved Ann Cameron's descriptive writing style so much that we tried to copy it as we wrote our own stories. It made a great mentor text for writing personal narratives early in the year.

One way I can make sure that I work in my read aloud time, is to have it be the hook to a content area lesson.  These three books were used during my science time.
Owen Foote Mighty Scientist is a great one to read to introduce the scientific method as Owen and his friend work on a science project.  Dirt Boy is my absolute favorite read to jump into a unit on soil. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig is a fun one to incorporate during your simple machines unit. 

These three are some of my favorite ones to use during my social studies units. I read I Have an Olive Tree while teaching about Ancient Greece. Sophia is given an olive tree in Greece as a present. She travels and finds out the importance of such a gift.  The Mysterious Traveler is an outstanding book to read during a unit on Mali. This mystery is set in the desert of Africa and will have your students guessing what will happen next. I love reading The Boy of the Three Year Nap as we study Ancient China. It is full of great vocabulary and lends itself to so many reading skill teaching points. 

Do you have favorite read alouds?
Would love to hear!


  1. Your blog is great. I read a lot of interesting things from it. Thank you very much for sharing. Hope you will update more news in the future.

  2. I LOVE The Hundred Dresses and the Julian/Huey/Gloria books. Those are some of my favorites. The Hundred Dresses is the first read-aloud I do every year. I also love The Lemonade War, Poppy by Avi, and The One and Only Ivan. Thanks for sharing! I'm going to Amazon to check out the Stuart books.
    Laughter and Consistency

  3. Most of these titles are new to me so I appreciate you sharing them!