This semester students in READ 6310 were asked to contribute a post to this blog.
By M. Guerra
I always assumed that only teachers in the early childhood grades would use read alouds. It is thanks to taking this course I have understood and valued reading for what it’s truly worth. A book can be read aloud to any grade level; it is up to the teacher to choose what is adequate enough for his or her students.
Choosing a book title can be rather tricky if you have no idea where to start. In my first year teaching, I would randomly choose any book that looked good enough to read to my first graders. Throughout the years, I have changed my ways of selecting books. Many books can be found to connect to all subjects.
During Math time, our curriculum has a big book which is used in introducing the new math topic. Along with this big book, I highly recommend teachers to find books that correlate with the skill being taught. Several books can be used for different math skills. One of my personal favorites is Fat Frogs on a Skinny Log by Sara Riches. This book can be used for number counting, addition and even subtraction. My students were very intrigued during this read aloud. One can truly change a story simply by changing their voice and adding excitement to what may happen.
Teaching Science can either be very interesting or boring to students. Many students need to have visuals, videos, books and hands on experiences in order to truly learn what is being taught. In our animal unit, first grade students must learn about the life cycle of certain animals. The Life Cycle of a Frog by Lisa Trumbauer really helps to introduce how frogs develop. Many students who have no idea how a frog is developed will learn just by hearing you read this book.
The Kite from Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel is a selection from our Texas Treasures basal. This story is a fiction story about a Frog and Toad who try to fly a kite. It is quite an adventure seeing them try and try again. I always introduce this story by having a very dramatic read aloud. My students get super excited and laugh at how Frog and Toad don’t give up. Mid week after reading and discussing this story we make a connection to our Science unit and compare the life of a real frog to that of Frog and Toad.
As you can tell literature can be used in all subjects. Some books can be read aloud for introducing, teaching and even entertaining. Using a wide variety of literature exposes our students to the wonderful world of reading. Take advantage of read alouds by showing expression to your students. It can be a simple expression that will intrigue a young reader to want more.