I am a big believer in reading aloud to kids above their grade level. I think it's great for vocabulary development as well as listening comprehension. Plus, selfishly, it's my favorite time of day. We sit in a circle on the carpet and everyone is listening. It takes some time to cultivate that environment with some classes but it's well worth the effort.
I read different books every year based on what I think the class can handle and what their interests are. I do read classics like Ramona Quimby and Junie B. Jones, which I think are good for things like inferencing and voice. I typically read the Wizard of Oz, Winnie-the-Pooh and Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. But I also try to stretch their thinking a little bit with other titles. With these titles I find I can use a lot of the Depth and Complexity concepts, we can do projects in response to them.
This story is written in verse, so a little more challenging to understand-but so fun to read aloud! It is about not judging people by how they dress and being who you really are. My students drew correlations between this book and what we were learning about the civil rights movement-which I was very proud of them for doing.
This is such a deep book! There are themes about love and how a character can change. There are times when it's funny and times when it's sad. A truly beautiful story.
This is an easier read, but one I think many of the students can relate to. The father in the story leaves and the family goes to adopt a dog, instead they bring home all the dogs left in the shelter. You hear the animals talking from their perspective and I think it's a great book for developing empathy as well.
This is just a really sweet story about a little girl and the advice she gets from her grandmother.
Another one I love read-aloud! No chapters in this book-which I think is a purposeful choice by the author. A father goes out for milk and is gone for a long time. When he returns, he spins quite a tale. This is something I could see my father doing! :) Such creativity in that mind of his.
I find that a lot of parents are not reading with their kids at home, I feel like I have to make up for that in our classroom. We read at least a chapter every day. Sometimes they are more concerned with how many chapters/pages are left--sometimes they just enjoy it. I love that moment when you read a particularly poignant part and you look around the room and see everyone just engaged with these characters. When it's hard to say good-bye at the end I know I made a good choice!