Posts Tagged ‘read alouds’

Say Hello

Last week I mentioned the importance of keeping a writing schedule.  Well, here’s the TRUTH in hardback.  

Say Hello to Zorro! by Carter Goodrich

You see, my schedule actually revolves around Millie, my dog.  Yep, she’s in charge and she knows it.

Dog owners will certainly relate to this fun story.  It’s about Mister Bud who sets his own household schedule. 

That is, until Zorro a.k.a Trouble shows up at the front door.

The front cover gives this one away–just look at those adorable faces–and that’s just what you’ll find throughout the pages.


This Week’s Read Aloud

Here is my latest find from a trip to the library:

How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson

I found myself chuckling with each turn of the page. 

Here’s why:

  • Illustrations –The personified slug images are hilarious–a must see to appreciate.  
  • Familiar–the story refers to some very familiar book titles we all remember reading–but of course in Slug style– example: The Poky Little Slug.
  • Great Teachable Moments–If you teach the early grades, this would be a great beginning-of-the-year read aloud to excite your students about learning.  The story really does go through the steps of learning to readAND  It’s also a great read for teaching point of view–after all, you’re teaching a slug to read here.  How’s that for a different perspective?

Visit your local library to find your next treasure.–Happy Reading!

This Week’s Library Treasure

Here is my latest find from a trip to the library:

The Woods by Paul Hoppe

A kid dressed in his pjs wearing a cape and carrying a sword, while eyes watch from the deep dark woods–the cover alone signals a great bedtime story–and YES, it delivers one.

Here’s why:

  • Illustrations and Paper–the illustrations and the feel of the paper (not glossy, a rougher texture) set the tone for a dreamy-in-the-woods story
  • Page Turner Tool–the story uses the until. . . method, creating the need to find out what’s next  You may feel this method has been overdone, but it works well in this story.
  • Comfort Quality–Although kids will anticipate a scare, the main character uses his imagination to conquer his fears.  AND  The tone is fun and doesn’t leave the kid with scary thoughts–If you’ve ever experienced a kid who’s afraid of the dark, you know why this is important for a bedtime story.
  • For me, A Sweet Memory–reminds me of my own favorite childhood book, I’ll Protect You from the Jungle Beasts by Martha Alexander.

Weezer Changes the World

Here’s another book that made it to Millie’s 5 Paws List!

Weezer Changes the World by David McPhail

After Weezer, a dog, is struck by lightning, he is able to do some pretty remarkable things.–Like cure diseases and bring peace between leaders. 

Out of the tons of books I read, this one stands out for me.  It’s simplistic text and illustrations create a certain mood that makes me smile.  However, there are also little extras throughout the story that convey Weezer’s intelligence to take the story to another level.  Read it and you’ll see what I mean.

Teaching Idea:  After sharing this read-aloud, ask students to imagine what it would be like if their dogs (or other pets) suddenly possessed human qualities. 

Word Play

Who is snooping on Mr. Putney?  A SPYENA

Mr. Putney’s Quacking Dog by Jon Agee is my latest discovery from the local library.

The cartoonish illustrations, coupled with questions and quirky animal answers, definitely capture the reader’s attention to keep turning the page. 

For teachers:  This would be a great read-aloud for a writing session.  After reading, brainstorm MORE quirky animal ideas.  Then let your students create!  Allow them time to create and color their own animal along with a question/answer using the Mr. Putney story as the class pattern.  Compile the pages and you have created a class book your students are sure to keep reading! 

Another thought:  Instead of Mr. Putney’s Quacking Dog, use YOUR name–Before using this assignment create YOUR OWN animal with a question and answer, to use for the title.

What a wonderful way to show kids the fun of WORDPLAY.  As a word lover, this book made my toes tingle!

I’m inspired to experiment with some new word ideas on my own.  Instead of animals, I could  manipulate the names of PLACESHmmm. . .I think Mr. Putney is about to pack his bags and take a little vacation.

Back to School Books

I’m a firm believer in reading aloud to children, no matter what the age.  Whether it is a picture book, chapter from a novel, or a short poem, I love to begin a school day reading to my students.  It is time well spent. 

By carefully choosing just what to read, I am able to model all sorts of reading techniques, add to what we are already learning, and motivate my students to read more by a certain author or in a particular genre.

Need a read-aloud idea?  Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar is a great Back to School choice.  Its short funny chapters about the students and teachers of Wayside School is a prefect way to start your school day. 

This book is filled with some pretty strange characters that are sure to capture your audience.  The great thing about this one is that each chapter is a story within itself, making it a perfect read-aloud for several days. 

Be warned:  Your students will be hooked on this series, so go ahead and check out Louis Sachar’s other Wayside books at -students will want you to continue reading this one!