I am a big proponent for reading aloud to kids of all ages and stages. Read aloud’s allow students to access texts that otherwise might be too advanced for them and encourages them to pick up new types and genres. It allows them to hear how a fluent reader reads, and is just a really nice relaxing thing to experience. You’ll notice many of them have movie tie ins. I always watch the movie once we’re done the book, it’s a great break for everyone and leads to interesting discussions.
Here are my top 5 picks.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone JK Rowling
Always a classic, beloved by all and really great for comparing a book to a movie. The scene where Harry gets his wand in particular is very different in the movie and makes for a great comparison and discussion.
2. Running Wild Michael Morpurgo
A really wonderful story about a boy who escapes the Tsunami in Thailand on the back of an elephant. Adventure ensues and he eventually ends up aiding in the rescue and conservation of orangutans. If your class is interested in natural disasters, wildlife or adventure they will love it!
3. The Golden Compass Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass is a classic. It’s also long, so be prepared to commit. But my students have loved the idea of people having animal sidekicks and enjoyed Lyra’s take no prisoners attitude. The book is full of amazing vocabulary and I have used it as a jumping point for opinion writing, narrative writing and fantasy writing. The movie’s garbage, but we got a kick out of roasting it.
4. The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner is a great story. In a boy heavy class it will kill! They love the main characters and all the twists and turns. Lots of great opportunities for making predictions and writing alternative endings.
5. The Lightning Thief
Another great adventure. I really like Rick Riordan and love how he combined Greek mythology with a modern day character. I have found that so many kids are familiar with the legends because of him and I think that’s so cool. I like that we can read the old stories and compare and contrast them to Riordan’s version, they get so excited when they recognize a monster that also appears in his book. Lot’s of great art projects that can be done surrounding Greek mythology as well!