Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Read Alouds for the First Week of School

Read-Alouds for the First Week of School

Reading aloud is an important part of my classroom.  It is especially important at the beginning of the year.  The books you choose to read aloud set the tone for your classroom community and teach lessons that will last the whole year!

Here are three of my favorite first week read-alouds:

Shubert's BIG Voice by Dr. Becky A. Bailey and Leigh Ann Burdick
This is an adorable story about a lightning bug named Shubert who has an encounter with a bully named Benny on the first day of school.  His magical teacher, Mrs. Bookbinder, teaches him to use his "Big Voice" to stand up for himself. 

I've been reading this book on the first day of school for years and my students always enjoy it.  More importantly, I am able to make using your "big voice" an important first step in dealing with conflict.  My students learn to tell others, " I don't like it when you..." and often, this results in an apology from the other student.  When students come to me to tattle, the first question I ask is, "Did you try using your big voice?"

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
This story about a rat named Rodney who can't pronounce his R's, is a great way to introduce a lesson on individual differences.  Wodney is often teased by his classmates for his speech. To their surprise, he becomes a hero when a bully named Camilla Capybara joins their class. This book leads to great discussions about what it feels like to be teased and the importance of showing respect for others.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
This is another story that I use to help students value differences and stand up for themselves.  Molly Lou Melon is a tiny first grader with buck teeth and a voice "like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor." When she moves to a new town, she encounters Ronald Durkin, a student who delights in picking on her.  You and your students will cheer Molly Lou Melon's self-confidence as she counters each of Ronald's digs with her strengths.  

Of course, during the first week I read aloud many books. These are my favorites for setting the tone for the rest of the year.  Feel free to add your suggestions. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! I love the lessons learned from all three of these sweet stories. What an amazing way to start the year!