A local preschool teacher calls. She/He would like to bring the class to the library for a visit. No problem! You gather your favorite titles from story time, decide on music and fingerplays to use between stories, and away you go. No big deal.
It gets a little trickier when you have an elementary class visit or when you’re asked to be a guest reader for a school’s literacy night. Not to mention the times when a parent is looking for read alouds because she/he is scheduled to be a surprise guest reader at his/her child’s school. You can always decide to read a chapter from a terrific children’s novel, but why not use this time to highlight the great picture books available for older children? I’ll tell you a bit about my tried and trues, and you can tell us about your favorites in the comments section.
I must confess that I include this for nostalgic reasons. This is one of the few picture books I remember reading by myself. I’ve been delighted to find that the lower elementary school students that I’ve read this to are enchanted by Ira’s teddy bear dilemma.
As this is a popular read aloud in many elementary school classrooms, the children in your group may shout out with recognition when they see the title. It’s such a clever story, however, that most don’t mind hearing it again.
Margaret Read MacDonald has yet to create a picture book that I dislike. Mabela the Clever is probably my favorite story; this folktale from Sierra Leone features a little mouse who learns the importance of using her senses in order to escape the pouncing cats.
What are your favorite read alouds for elementary school classes?