Slice of Life: Read-Alouds I Love


I think it’s fair to say that I am a teacher today because of a read-aloud. I have written before about the impact of my fourth grade teacher reading Charlotte’s Web to us.

When I was a classroom teacher, reading aloud was non-negotiable. We did it every day. No. Matter. What. Now that I’m not a classroom teacher, sharing wonderful books with kids is still the best part of my day.

Because I love read-aloud so much, and because I love Dr. Mary Howard’s Thursday night #G2great Twitter chats, I was especially sad to miss last Thursday’s chat with Steven Layne about read-alouds. Scrolling through the archive of the chat, it’s easy to see that an incredible amount of wisdom was shared in one hour. Here are some tweets from the chat that I love:

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You can (and should!) read the Storify version of this chat here.

This was the last question of the chat:

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Linda Baie answered this question over at her blog, TeacherDance, this morning. I’m stealing Linda’s idea and answering Mary’s question from Thursday’s chat since I’m visiting my son this weekend and haven’t had time to write.

Chapter books my 3rd graders loved:

Charlotte’s Web
The Prince of the Pond
The Birchbark House
The Tale of Despereaux
The Search for Delicious
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
Stone Fox
How Whales Walked into the Sea

Recent chapter books I know kids love:

Home of the Brave
The Fourteenth Goldfish
The One and Only Ivan
Because of Mr. Terupt
Mercy Watson

Favorite picture books:

Knuffle Bunny
Boy + Bot
Brave Irene
Rugby & Rosie
The Old Woman Who Named Things
Farfallina & Marcel
Mrs. Katz & Tush
The Other Dog
The Gruffalo
Goodnight, Gorilla

I could go on all day. What are your favorite read-alouds?

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

26 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Read-Alouds I Love

  1. Read-aloud was my favorite part of elementary and middle school. I always tried to get the book so I could read ahead. I think I have read every one of those read-alouds to my children; they are listed as my favorite childhood stories. Remembering Charlotte’s Web, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Black Stallion….

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  2. Catherine, once again I’m reminded how much I need to become familiar with Twitter and Twitter chats. I’m missing a wonderful world out there! I just finished reading Charlotte’s Web to my first grade class and they were spell-bound. I loved The Wolves of Willoughby Chase as a child and my favorite book as a child, which is a great read aloud, was The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. It’s hard to pick favorites though–often it depends on my mood, the class, etc. So often I sit down to start reading aloud and say something along the lines of, “I’m so excited to share this book with you. It’s one of my favorites!” And I honestly mean it every time.

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  3. I love reading aloud and my kiddos beg for it. I’m always on the hunt to introduce something new to them. Some of my favorites are A Snicker of Magic, The Night Gardener, Masters of Disaster, Maniac McGee, Hatchet, The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp – just to name a few.

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  4. With my revolving door classroom, it is difficult to get read aloud in, but this year I have been persistent. I am so sorry I missed the Twitter Chat. I need to put an alert on my phone for this one. I keep forgetting. This year we have read aloud Knucklehead, Fish in a Tree, and now we are reading Pax. My students love this special time. I just saw a NY Times article that says brain research supports reading fiction.

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  5. Oh, read aloud! Love this post One of my favorites that I always read to my fifth grade class is THE MONUMENT by Gary Paulsen. And I love CITY DOG COUNTRY FROG by Mo Willems… xx

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  6. I’d forgotten about The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. My daughter is now reading Charlotte’s Web to the granddaughters. What a treasure trove of books available to help share book love to students. Thanks for linking to me, Catherine. I’ll add your post to mine!


  7. Thanks for sharing so many great titles and for the conversation starter for this morning. I love adding to my “MUST read” list all the time. We need lots of favorites because I find each class responds just a bit differently than previous classes!

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  8. Thank you for the tweets and your favorite read alouds. Read aloud is the best time of the day. It is a sacred place. As Fran said, kids respond differently so we need lots of books to fit them. This is the place for equal opportunity access. Here are a few others I’ve shared over the years. How to Steal a Dog, Wonder, Flying Solo, Absolutely Almost, Mick Harte Was Here, A Long Walk to Water, The One and Only Ivan.

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  9. I loved this chat too and have been thinking about it since! I also love reading aloud Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher – makes me wonder if I can squeeze it in this year! Loved looking through your selections!


  10. Catherine, I am so glad I opened the email that comes from your blog. I regret that I don’t have time these days to read as many wonderful blogs as there are ! I JUST LOVE this. I am 100% with you on Read Alouds. They were what I finally realized the best teaching tools I had. Anyhow found some books I have not read here so that is great! So many books, so little time. I also love the info the the twitter chat. I don’t do twitter much, but I know I would love it. This one looks fabulous and too good to miss!! Thank you for this. My favorite read alouds in gr. 3 (last 13 years) were Love that Dog, Because of Winn-Dixie and I started the year with a classic The Wizard of Oz because the kids loved it and it was jam-packed with accessible sophisticated vocabulary which I made great use of. (I had a special Word of the Day homework plan,, easy peasey and fun for all and I used those words for writing. Big band for a little buck. Something I came to value over and over and especially using poetry as I did. Some day I hope I will have a book about my programs and ideas.) Anyhow, while I would not have gone to choose that one, it served my purposes beautifully and was a great way to start the year I found, plus there is a lot to talk about; heart, brain, friendship, home, courage…… My read alouds had a pattern to them so there are several that I would not tackle until later in the year with gr. 3 ie Winn Dixie and Love that Dog. I always had to create the community bond before I would read certain books. I would also vary and include some comic relief. I absolutely LOVED to read aloud Mary Jane Auch’s the I Was a Third Grade Science Experiment triology. This is a series that can hook kids on reading! Such voice, such fun, so much to enjoy and learn from. I only read these some years, but a really good, yet lesser known book: The Light on Hogback Hill by Cynthia DeFelice (Halloween, bullying, differences). Have a few more titles to share at another time. In 5th grade I read long novels and followed the Vygotsky idea of pulling kids through their ZOPED….so I challenged them a little. LOVED: Homecoming and Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voight and the whole Tillerman Saga, The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig. To name a few. Often read Lost in the Barrens, a survival book. Excellent. Also Incident at Hawk’s Hill. Tried to read books showing kids who had courage, survived difficult circumstances, etc. But books kids would enjoy, too. Again, so many books, so little time. However, I think oldies are goodies some times and then there are SO many new incredible books.


  11. Oh, there are so many to choose from! I have especially fond memories of my childhood self listening to “The Phantom Tollbooth” and “Help Me! I’m Trapped in the Library.”

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  12. I absolutely LOVE read alouds, too! I love getting right into it, reading the story aloud with voices and facial expressions. Kids of all ages love read alouds! 🙂


  13. Well, anytime I see a title that is about “books I love” you bet I’m going to click on it. I’m glad to see that I’ve read some of your favorites too. I love, love, love Stone Fox and The One & Only Ivan. I want to read the The Tale of Despereaux. It’s been on my list FOREVER! I’m a sucker for animal books. My recommendation is PAX. I just finished it and enjoyed every minute of it. I also like Escaping the Giant Wave. The kids are begging you to keep reading. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. Great lists are being shared here, Catherine. I didn’t see The Crossover, Out of my Mind, Edward’s Eyes, Because of Winn Dixie… those are some good ones. Also, any of Eve Bunting’s picture books, and definitely Jacqueline Woodson. Each Kindness should be required reading.

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  15. I loved this chat on Thursday night…it actually inspired my post about webinars & twitter chats! There are so many great read alouds…and I feel like I find new favorites every day!


  16. Since retiring, this has been the thing that I have missed the most. I loved sharing picture books and daily chapter read alouds. Loved having kids in the palm of my hand as I read – often having them react loudly when I stopped and wanting more. Great list – and idea for tomorrow! Thank you


  17. Love this post and sharing read alouds. Can’t wait to see more lists over the next few days. I got here from Linda’s post. Time to work on one of my own.


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