As I was mulling over possible blog topics for another top ten list for Nerdy, my students came up an idea for me: Their top ten favorite read alouds of our year – so far. (They said I had to add “so far” because, as they said, Mrs. S, we aren’t even halfway through our year!)
My classes consist of three sections of reading daily. I also teach my own class writing. As part of our mini-lessons I often read aloud- novels, articles, picture books- and I try and remember to record our reading on a chart we have hanging in our classroom.
Today I asked my students to pick their three favorites of the year. Here’s what they came up with:
10. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
I think it’s fascinating that this title made the list. Only my class voted for it – I haven’t read it to the other two. AND I just started reading it this week. To say they are hooked is an understatement.
9. Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
This is a book I hold close to my heart. I love the story, the characters, the illustrations – everything. The kids know that and share my feelings. We also read this one for the Sharp-Schu October book club on Twitter.
8. Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett
The kids love how the author talks to you in this book. They laugh each time Adam draws the bow on Mac. Hilarious read aloud.
7. Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Similar to IVAN, this book has only been read to my own class. We finished this book last week and it made the list for the majority of my students. We loved Georges and the journey he was on through the book. Great discussions came out of this read aloud.
6. Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack
Such a simple book but great for teaching inferring. I read this in the first two weeks of school. I shared with my students that I connected because one character was like me, one like my husband. They all quickly guessed that I was the rabbit. Thrilled they still remember it fondly.
5. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
I just read this book last week in time for Halloween. The kids were hooked! They made amazing predictions, inferences, and connections as I read. And, I should note, my second grade son shared it with his class and they loved it as well.
4. It’s A Book by Lane Smith
Let’s not kid ourselves here, anytime you can get your teacher to say jackass out loud, we have a sure-fire hit. They love this book – and the monkey’s expressions are priceless. We’ve read this one again and again.
TIE for 2 and 3: I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Well, this is a surprise. Actually, not really. I mean I opened the year reading the first book with a red hat on my head. I went to visit the author and brought back the second. We’ve watched the trailers, discussed the plot, and had a blast with these books. The kids had a hard time picking which one they liked more so most just wrote both.
1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This didn’t surprise me at all. 46 out of 70 kids wrote it in as their number one pick. We opened the year with this book in all three classes. I often read it to all 70 kids at once in the first weeks of school. 70 kids in one classroom and you could have heard a pin drop. They still refer to it often and connect to Auggie. Many of them count Wonderopolis as their favorite website because it has the word Wonder in it. This book shaped my classes to start the year and we are all closer as a result.
Well, that’s it! The top ten books for my class as of November this year. I love that seven are picture books. I love that fifth graders are just as mesmerized by good picture books as younger children are. I love that when I asked my students to create this list today their only complaint was that I made them pick three. And I love that we don’t have a day go by in our classroom that some book is not read aloud. How about you? What is your favorite read aloud so far? Please share – we can all add to our lists.
Katherine Sokolowski has taught for fourteen years and currently teaches fifth grade. She is passionate about reading both in her classroom and also with her two sons. When not recommending books to strangers in the library or the bookstore, Katherine can be found writing at her blog: http://readwriteandreflect.blogspot.com/. You can find her on Twitter as @katsok.