Friday, March 8, 2013

Five on Friday: Five Favorite Read Alouds!

This was a hard list to put together, so I thought I would just pick 5 . . . maybe you'll see another 5 some other Friday!  I am excited about the read aloud I am starting next week, Flutter, but for now--here are 5 tried and true read alouds for middle elementary!  I would LOVE it if others would chime in with some of YOUR favorites!

I use this one during our electricity unit . . . we love watching how kids solve problems adults created! We work on visualizing and we talk TONS about character traits and try to really empathize with the characters.  "Greed" is a big part of this book so we get some great discussions going on this topic...many students choose to read farther in the series.

I'm biased...I have had contact with this author since before she became famous so I am biased--but this book moved me the first time I read it--well before it won the Newbery.  It is a tricky read aloud as one character doesn't speak.  You'll figure it out--I tapped my white board as I read his parts to show that HE was pointing to a communication device.  LOTS of great messages.  Being a mom of a child with autism, this one hits close to home.

This is always my first read aloud of the year--it is a series of 4 books which I love because I can hook kids. It has MANY things to talk about, especially with respect to bullying and how people choose to handle bullying. 

I read this book three times before reading it aloud and disliked it each time. It was recommended to me as a part of our new literacy program and all our 4th grade teachers were reading it so I caved.  My. Kids. Were. Captivated.  We got into symbolism, comparing, character traits and more.  My kids STILL say things like, "She is acting just like Sistine did!" and so on.  Powerful story.  

I love Tuck!  I am not a huge fantasy person, so this is one that I can dig into. . . we talk about what it would be like to live forever--and we really dig into the idea of perspective and point of view--there is always another side of the story.  Every time I read this we get into the topic of "Who owns land?"--and it ties back to the explorers and Native Americans and how our history has always placed value on owning land.  Great book--an oldie but goodie.


So!  Happy Friday--please share some of YOUR favorite read alouds below!  Maybe we can all add a few to our list for next year...I know "Wonder" and "The One and Only Ivan" are on my list!

By the way--a few of you wanted more information on the writing unit we did this week!  I am posting it in my store tonight for those of you who were interested.  Have a great weekend!  Here is the link . . .




27 comments:

  1. I'm definitely interested in "Shredderman". I've never heard of it before. I usually read "Among the Hidden" to my fifth graders because it's the first in the Shadow Children series and I can usually hook a bunch of the kids with it. Thanks for sharing, ~Stacy @ http://new-in-room-202.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Stacy! I have read Among the Hidden as well--kids LOVE it! Shredderman is a much easier text...we finish it in a little more than a week and is great for those first days when they need something a little lighter! Thanks for stopping by! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tuck Everlasting is a GREAT one. I also highly enjoy Zorgamazoo (told completely in Dr. Seuss-esque rhyme), Wonder, and the Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School <-- These have all been hits year after year with my fourth graders. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh! I am not familiar with that one! Putting it on my list! I HAVE read the Fabled Fourth Graders...that one is CLASSIC!

      Delete
  4. I read The Amazing Adventures of Eduard Tulane to my fourth graders for the first time this year. It is now far and away my favorite children's book. My class begged me to read it everyday. We cried several times and the conversations that we had about love and hope and hopelessness were amazing. I think it's one they'll always remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a wonderful book...our third grade teachers use it as a mentor text. SO many things to talk about with that one!

      Delete
    2. That is a wonderful book...our third grade teachers use it as a mentor text. SO many things to talk about with that one!

      Delete
  5. I'm going to have to check out Shredderman-that is a new title for me.
    I normally read Number the Stars-great introduction to WWII and the Nazi's-but told in a kid friendly way.
    I also read The Sign of the Beaver-this one is great because I read it when we study the Northeast in social studies-all of my kids-boys and girls alike really enjoy it.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Number the Stars! It has always been a favorite. We have steered clear of it in recent years because the 6th grade teachers have been using it. Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  6. I read The Twenty-One Balloons because my fourth grade teacher read it. Love it! Blood on the River - Jamestown history
    Of course, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing for fourth graders. And my favorite? The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - amazing book! Also, Floors is a great book. I could go on and on and on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to read Charlotte to my 6th graders . . . haven't thought about that one for a long time! Thanks for stopping by--I need to look up Floors. . . I'm not familiar with that one!

      Delete
  7. I second The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I read it earlier this year and my 4th graders loved it. We had such rich discussions! We are now reading another Kate DiCamillo book, The Tale of Despereaux, which has wonderful vocabulary. The kids are really into it!

    My librarian was just book-talking both Wonder and The One and Only Ivan last week. I want to read both of these books!

    I may have to read The Tiger Rising again. I read it once, and it didn't grab me, so I've never read it to my students. In general, though, I find that Kate DiCamillo's books are wonderful for reading aloud and discussing. She has many layers to her plots and characters...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy--I read Tiger Rising THREE times and didn't like it. My team REALLY wanted us to use it with our classes so I reluctantly agreed. My kids got SO into it! I was shocked. They came up with such deep discussions!

      Delete
  8. I read BFG every year because I just love fantasy and I don't get to teach much of it! There's none in our anthology and I think it's a shame. And I feel like it has a good message in it in terms of unlikely friendships and enjoying others' quirks.

    I have to vote AGAINST Tulane, though! I thought it was so dullll. I told my class at the beginning of the year, "I read it because lots of kids loved reading it last year, so you might disagree with me, but the only part I liked was the ending; that was good." Part of me feels like I should never discourage kids from reading a book, but part of me thought it might be good to build credibility to admit when I don't like a book. They do seem to take stock in my recommendations this year, even those who struggle with reading, so maybe it worked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it funny how we can all have different tastes? I like that you mentioned that you love fantasy--I do NOT and have to be very deliberate to make sure I do select fantasy books because so many students do...I can't let my own biases get in the way! I totally agree about the credibility thing--we have to be honest. They deserve that. I told my class that I didn't like Tiger Rising--but that THEY helped me learn to love it. I think they thought that was cool.

      Delete
  9. I love reading The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards. It is a great fantasy story with awesome descriptions. I always try to connect it to our writing.

    I agree on The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I am not a super emotional person, but that book gets me every time. Love it!

    This year, I, also, read Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith. I won't read them aloud again next year. Not my favs!

    Kristin
    Teachntex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the ideas, Kristin! :) I also like the "non" reviews! I think we could all list books we wouldn't use again!

      Delete
    2. I forgot my favorite historical fiction read aloud - Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen. This usually hooks my boys, who haven't discovered Gary Paulsen, yet.

      Delete
  10. This is a great post. We have similar taste in books, so I'll have to read Shredderman! I love Tuck Everlasting, The Tiger Rising and the City of Ember. I read the City of Ember after finishing the Hunger Games, during a time I was convinced I'd never find anything that grabbed me like that trilogy did, but I loved City of Ember. It had a similar feel but it much easier for 5th graders to digest. I have to confess that I didn't love the People of Spark though. The only book I'd add to your list is Because of Winn Dixie. I read that book before the Tiger Rising so we can do some great work with comparing themes!

    Sarah
    MissKinBK A Fifth Grade Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah! I love Winn Dixie too--SO much to dig into!

      Delete
  11. I've read The Lightning Thief to my 6th graders for years because they study ancient Greece in the spring, but so many of them have read it this year that I have to pick something new :( I'm going to read Holes to one class, Because of Mr. Terupt to another, and I haven't found something for the 3rd class. I have also read N.E.R.D.S a few times and kids really enjoy that book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I considered Mr. Terupt...so many books, so little time! We are reading "Flutter" now...the first chapter captivated them--we'll see!

      Delete
  12. I love rules. I read it with my class when I had a number of students on the spectrum. The whole class could really identify with the characters, and their problems. My other favourite author for gr 4 is eric walters he is a teacher turned author with tons of greay topics including environmentalism, 9-11, buying products madw from child labour.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for sharing! I'd like to try Shredderman. I've always enjoyed reading Shiloh to my fourth graders. They get so into it, they hate when I have to stop!
    Amy Marie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shiloh IS a great text! I haven't read it in years...might be time to break it out again!

      Delete
  14. Just finished Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher with my class. They loved it and didn't want me to stop each day. It's so exciting when we can share a story with the class. Not many kids get read to anymore, especially at fourth grade. Lots of time to discuss and think about what will come in the next chapter.

    ReplyDelete