A Read Aloud Celebration in Honor of World Read Aloud Day

Mar 10, 2014 by

Last Wednesday was World Read Aloud Day, and our class celebrated the whole day! Now, it’s important to note that every day is Read Aloud Day in 3E. My students know that I make it a point to read to them every day. But, because it was World Read Aloud Day, we made it an extra special, all-day celebration.

In the morning, my best friend came to read, and since my students frequently hear stories about “Peggy”, it was like having a celebrity visit! It was all the more exciting because I kept the day’s guest readers secret. Peggy delighted the children by reading Tough Boris by Mem Fox, Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail, and What Shall I Dream? by Laura McGee Kvasnosky. The children looked for clues in the illustrations and shared their predictions for what would happen next in each of the stories. We especially loved the book theme of Edward and the Pirates!

In the afternoon, we had another guest reader, one of our recess/cafeteria supervisors. He read the book, Tyrone the Horrible by Hans Wilhelm. The students were especially amused to learn the way that Boland outsmarts Tyrone, the mean T-rex who bullies Boland through most of the story. The thank you cards the students made for Mr. Taliafero were a reflection of how much they enjoyed having him visit our classroom and share a story with us.

In between our guest readers, I fit in a Dr. Seuss book, The Sneetches, which was a way to celebrate Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Day, both of which we were not in school for. The Sneetches is a particular favorite of mine because it has such a powerful message about not excluding others on account of our differences, but to instead come together over what we have in common. You can check out excerpts in the video clip below.

What I loved about this read aloud is that the children got so involved in the reading. The rhyming and repetition helped students know when to chime in, and chime in they did! I preserved some of the best parts of the reading, where students comment on the use of “thars” and “eaches”. Before reading the book, we had talked about the fact that Dr. Seuss thought very “ishly”, which is a reference to the book Ish by Peter Reynolds that is one of our beloved classroom books. You will notice me commenting on this during the reading, too. We just LOVE all the made-up words that make Dr. Seuss stories fun to read! Together, the students and I “raised our voices” for World Read Aloud Day and shared this wonderful story. Be sure to take note of the student at the end of the video who asks, “Can we read another one?” Music to my read-aloud-loving ears!

We wrapped up our celebration with the chapter book we’ve been reading at the end of each day, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo. When I shared the first pages of this book on the day it won the Newbery Award, it became immediately evident that we had chosen our next chapter book together. We adored Flora, the cynic, and the superhero squirrel from the moment we met. We were captivated by the absurdity of it all- Holy unanticipated occurrences! But, still the characters ring true and we can relate to the tension between Flora and her mother and the internal struggles that Flora is dealing with. Not to mention, we are completely enamored by the poetry-typing Ulysses! If you have not yet read this book, I encourage you to add it to the top of your TBR pile because, Holy bagumba!- it’s a wonderful read!

Reading aloud is a daily celebration in our classroom, but it was especially wonderful to dedicate a whole day to it!

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