Monday, August 4, 2014

Chapter Book Read Alouds 2nd and 3rd Grade

My class loves to listen to me read to them.  Since my students are 2nd and 3rd graders now, I like to try to expose them to chapter books as read alouds.  The following is a list of some of the books we read this past year with some brief comments about each.

1) Boxcar Children #1

I chose this book because it was one of the extended complex texts that was recommended to go with our first unit with our reading curriculum, Wonders.  The students liked it and enjoyed the adventure of the children living in the train boxcar.

2) Stuart Little

"Stuart Little" was our next read aloud because of a play we were scheduled to see.  My district is very fortunate to have a lot of support for education for children within the arts.  Part of that is experience at our local theater for live performances.  "Stuart Little" was actually a very difficult book to read to my students. The language and vocabulary that is used actually puts it much higher than a second or third grade level (I think it's more like 5th or 6th grade.)  However, my students loved the story.  We  went through this book pretty slowly and stopped to explain a lot of the words or phrases in the book.  By the time we got to the play, my class loved that they could "see" parts of the story they already knew and we had great discussions about the parts that were different.

3) Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom

Horrible Harry has a great series of introductory chapter books.  I read this book to my class to introduce Harry and Song Lee to my students.  I have found that once students are familiar with some of the characters they are more likely to make the transition between picture books to chapter books.

4) Santa Clause Doesn't Mop Floors
We read this book as a purely enjoyable read at the holidays.  As we progressed through the story, we had some great conversations for our social skills lessons.

5) The One and Only Ivan
Oh! How I loved this book.  The story is told from Ivan's point of view.  Ivan is a gorilla that was once wild and is now kept in captivity in a shopping mall.  My class loved hearing about Ivan's thoughts and feelings and solutions.  They also loved learning that the story was based on a real gorilla.  This gave us the chance to talk about what they phrase "based on a true story" means (how often the main idea and the theme of the story stay true but frequently the author changes some of the details to make the plot of the story work.)  **This was my favorite read aloud this year.

6) Little Dog Lost
We all enjoyed this story too.  It is written in the style of a poem, even though it is also presented as a chapter book.  This was the first time my class had seen a free verse poem this long.  That was a great way to show them there are many different ways a writer can share their thoughts and ideas with the reader.

7) How to Eat Fried Worms
If you have read any my previous post about "How to Eat Fried Worms," you will know I love this book.  I first was introduced to it when MY second grade teacher read it out loud to my class.  I remember simultaneously loving it and being grossed out by it!

8) Charlotte's Web
My students loved this book...well except for the one who hated it and the one that it stressed out (but she still loved it!)....For more information on this read here.  Overall though, the class really did like this classic!  This was a novel that we had plenty of copies of throughout our school.  I was able to get a copy for every student in my room and the liked tracking our progress in their own book as I read it to them.   We ended our school year with an "old school" thematic until based on this novel.  My class loved that kind of structure to our day.  I wish we could do more of it.

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