In college, as I was learning and preparing to become an educator, during the summer I was a camp counselor. I counseled junior campers (3rd grade - 6th grade, junior high campers, and senior high campers. I LOVED being a camp counselor. I loved the hussle, the relationships I built with campers and other staffers, planning activities, you name it, I loved it. Looking back, it definitely was the right job for me becoming a teacher!
The reason I bring up this experience is because I learned something very valuable at a very young age and at an early stage of my career…. Read the dang book!
You may be wondering how camp counseling and read alouds go hand in hand? Well, one thing I did as a counselor is every night before lights out, or even after with a flashlight, I would read aloud. EVEN TO MY SENIOR HIGH KIDS! I read aloud every single night, no matter the age level I had in my cabin. And do you know what, every age level loved it and would end up asking me to read more than one a night by the end of the week.
This experience showed me then and reminds me now, that kids need to hear us read those dang books! NO MATTER THE AGE! Whether they are a kindergarten experiencing school for the first time, or a sixth grader finding his/her own way in the world, or a junior in highschool making decisions for their future, they are all still KIDS. They are all still looking for the fun, the adventure, the escape a read aloud can bring.
As teachers we often get so rushed by the events of our day that we so easily push that read aloud aside, especially the older our students get. I want you to take a second and think, how often do you read aloud to your students? How often do they hear you or another teacher read to them? Studies have proven the benefits of students being read aloud to, but somehow it can feel difficult to squeeze into our day.
I encourage you now, pick up that book and read it to your students! Make time for it in your daily routines. Read alouds are powerful tools in the classroom and at home.
Some of our favorite read aloud books are:
1. Andrea Beaty books like Rosie Revere Engineer
2. Peter Reynolds books like Word Collector
3. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
4. Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
5. Sandra Markle books like What if You Had Animal Eyes?
6. You are Special by Max Lucado
7. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
8. The Old Women Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
9. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
10. Who Would Win Books
11. Say Hello by Jack and Michael Foreman
12. The Cool Bean by Jory John and Pete Oswald (the same authors also wrote The Bad Seed and The Good Egg)
We hope this list might give you some new book ideas to pick up and read! We would also love to hear from you about what some of your favorite read alouds are too! Comment below! Happy Reading!