Picking books for read alouds is an art. But it is something that any teacher can learn!
I know many of us are figuring out virtual teaching, but read alouds are more important than ever! For some students, it has been a challenge to get their hands on a good book!
Check out how to ensure that every read aloud is a hit!
This is key for good read alouds. Am I always able to read books that my students love? No, but knowing their interests helps me know if students will be engaged immediately or if I will have to do a little work to make them buy-in.
How do I know their interests? At the beginning of the school year, I ask students what they love, what they want to know more about, etc. I take that information and use it to find books and create themes.
Since each group of students is different, knowing their interests prevents me from reading the same books each school year.
Are you reading to teach a skill, or are you reading for fun? Your answer should influence your book choice.
If you’re reading a book to teach a skill, you need to find and preread books to see if they have enough examples to teach the skill. For example, if you’re practicing context clues, you want to make sure there are enough words in the book with useful context clues.
If you’re reading a book for fun, then that’s just it. You’re looking for a fun book, and it doesn’t matter if there are opportunities to practice reading skills.
I have checked out so many books that I thought would be great books, but I quickly realized they were not read aloud worthy once I read them.
Prereading a book helps you make sure the book is age-appropriate. Sometimes a book can be too young or too mature for students.
Vetting your books can help you recognize a BORING book. There are some dry books out here, y’all. The last thing you want is to put your students to sleep because you didn’t see if the book would keep them engaged.
Lastly, prereading a book helps you create well thought out questions to ask while reading.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I post tons of books, I only post books that I’ve read to my students or books that are read aloud worthy. Every book I share, I’ve preread.
That’s it! Keep these three things in mind, and your read alouds will always be on point!
If you want to level up your read alouds, check out my Free Interactive Read Aloud Guide!
If you’re looking for diverse picture books to add to your collection, check out The Ultimate List Diverse Picture Books. There are over 250 read-aloud worthy books (yes, I read them all) on the list!