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4 Great Books for Reading Aloud to Elementary Children

children listening to a teacher reading aloud to them

Reading aloud to children is the best way to share the enjoyment books can provide. It doesn’t matter whether the books are fiction or nonfiction. It can be magazines, graphic novels, or even website content. What matters is that children associate reading as a way to unlock the world and their imagination.

Here are some of my favorite stories I use when reading aloud to my class:

The Kid in the Red Jacket by Barbara Park

Any child who has had to adjust to moving to a new school will immediately identify with Howard Jetter.  This humorous tale written by Barbara Park deals with the awkwardness of making new friendships.  Plus you can’t help but fall in love with six-year-old Molly Vera Thompson.  Despite the differences in age and interests, Howard realizes the true meaning of friendship.

The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery by Doreen Cronin

The Trouble with Chickens

J. J. is a retired search and rescue dog. After years of risk his life rescuing lost humans, he can now enjoy a quiet life on the farm. Or can he? There is a mysterious disappearance on the farm and J.J. is on the trail! Can he find the missing chicks before they turn into nuggets? You’ll have to read to find out!

Tom by Tomie dePaola

Tom

Tommy’s beloved grandfather ran a butcher shop. One day he gave Tommy some chicken feet in a brown sack. He told him if he planted it into the ground, after three weeks it would turn into a chicken bush.

This story is full of shenanigans based on the life of popular children’s author Tomie dePaola. It is easy to see where Tomie got his sense of humor! This book also is perfect to use for an author study. Other Tomie dePaola books that are autobiographical include The Art Lesson, Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, and the 26 Fairmont Ave. series.

Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier

beatrices-goat

Based on a true story, a poor African girl receives the gift of a goat. However, to young Beatrice, the goat seems like one more responsibility. More than anything else, she wants to attend school. One day, Beatrice realizes that her goat is a blessing; not only to her, but also to others in her village. This story helps children learn about another part of the world where going to school isn’t taken for granted. And the generosity of strangers can make a difference in the lives of others. This story has a theme about paying it forward as well as the importance of being able to read.

To learn more about the benefits of reading aloud to children, I recommend you check out this article that explains the value of interactive reading aloud.


Would you like activities to support books you reading aloud stories? I have a collection of book companions at my store! Here are just 2.Save

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  • Alison Monk

    When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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    Hi! I'm Alison

    My #1 passion is all things literacy! I'm a curriculum creator and literacy specialist with over 30 years teaching in elementary classrooms. My goal is to share creative and engaging ways to grow your students and are easy to implement and academically sound. You can expect to find teaching tips to boost your confidence and grow your learners. You don't have to do this alone! I'm the support you've been looking for. I'm so glad you are here!

    About the Literacy Garden

    When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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