read aloud advice- 4th grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by 4thgradeteacher, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. 4thgradeteacher

    4thgradeteacher New Member

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    Oct 29, 2005

    Hello all. I am a new teacher, and as such, am often in dire need of advice and direction. I instituted a read aloud in my class this year, but unfortunately, my first book selection, Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, was not a great choice. The girls responded well to the book, generally, but the boys were completely disinterested. I am hoping to make a better second choice! Another teacher in the grade is using Molly Moon (the first book in the series) and the kids LOVE IT! Her students rush in from recess to hear the next installment. Unfortunately, a majority of my students have already read this book, so I need to find an alternative that the kids find equally engaging. I am not looking for something too serious- light-hearted with a deep message would be ideal. I have a tentative short list that I am considering, but have yet to read them and would like to begin the read aloud ASAP. These are the books that I bought:
    Carl Hiaasen's "Hoot"
    Cornelia Funke's "The Thief Lord"
    Eva Ibbotson's "Island of the Aunts" and "Which Witch?"
    Andrew Clements' "A Week in the Woods"
    Lynne Reid Banks' "The Indian in the Cupboard"
    Allen Kurzweil's "Leon and the Spitting Image"
    If you think that any of these would make a good read aloud, or you have another suggestion, I would greatly appreciate the advice. Oh, I should also mention that my students tend to be on a high reading level for fourth graders, and most are strongly encouraged to read at home. As such, I couldn't use any of Dahl's great works :( and I should also note that I'm not a Narnia fan, and that I don't care for Holes as a read aloud.
    With all of that said, any pearls of wisdom? Thank you so much!!!
    -an anxious fourth grade teacher
     
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  3. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Oct 30, 2005

    Frindel by Andrew Clements is a great read-aloud for upper 4th grade...but it's a little emotional so you may want to wait till the end of the year. I haven't used it myself but know teachers who have with great success (kids staying in through recess to finish)!
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 30, 2005

    Frindle is great, so are Maniac Magee and Because of Winn Dixie. Last year my kids loved My Side of the Mountain, this year they didn't. The kids all love fantasy, but I don't, and many of them are soooo long for a read-aloud. I try and give equal time to books which I suspect will appeal to girls and those which will appeal to boys. I try to find a good middle ground, though.

    Here is a good site for some suggestions:
    http://www.teachersfirst.com/readlist2.cfm?age=4

    I haven't read all your selections, 4thgradeteacher, but they all sound appropriate (from what I know of them).

    Do you have a reading area where the kids can lounge while listening? Mine can get a bit too relaxed but I insist that they be relatively still, don't get up, don't fiddle with anything, don't interact with other kids. They don't all seem to quite 'get how to sustain focused listening!
     
  5. missdq

    missdq Rookie

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    Oct 30, 2005

    read aloud suggestion

    Hi I am a fourth grade teacher and I am reading "Apple Island or the Truth about Teachers" to my students and they are loving it. It's about school, but very silly. Take a look and let me know what you think
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 30, 2005

    I am currently on the third book of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Cat Pack series, and my class is already moaning because they know there is only one more book in the series! They are trying to persuade me to let them write to her and beg for more! She is most well-known for Shiloh, but this is also a good series. I use it a lot for character, plot, predictions, etc. In using this series for about 5 years now, I have only had one student who didn't seem to really enjoy it.
    Good luck!
     
  7. 4thgradeteacher

    4thgradeteacher New Member

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    Oct 30, 2005

    Thanks so much for all of the wonderful suggestions. My local book store did not have the Apple Island book, but I checked out some of the others and they sound wonderful. I also came across Half Magic, which my fiance remembers having as a read aloud (and loving) in the fourth grade. Any opnions? I work in an open school without any walls, so for read aloud time I generally have the students sit in a designated place on the carpet, and though I don't allow them to interact, they are free to lie down and relax. I haven't had behavioral issues during this time, but I definitely sensed some boredom, which was of course a big concern. Thanks again for all of the suggestions!
     
  8. bina1357

    bina1357 Companion

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    Oct 30, 2005

    I have used Bridge to Terrabithia at theend of the yera. Then we wold watch the movie & compare/contrast.

    This year I used Frindle. My kids loved it!

    I have used Because of Winn Dixie in lit groups. Oh, Series of unfortunate events my kids loved last year!

    I read Apple Island but don't remember how my kids reacted.

    I'm looking for a new read aloud now. Thanks for posting this! :)
     
  9. 4thgradeteacher

    4thgradeteacher New Member

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    Oct 30, 2005

    oh, i may end up using Boys Start the War.
     
  10. belovedrebel

    belovedrebel Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2005

    That might be a great opportunity to work with them on their letter writing skills!
     
  11. Gunnerbun

    Gunnerbun New Member

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    Oct 31, 2005

    The best read alouds are books you are truly passionate about reading. I know finding time is hard but reading the book before hand will help you be able to "sell" parts of the book. "The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis is going over very well with my 3rd graders but is a higher reading level.

    Another good thing to remember is that read aloud doesn't always need to be above their reading level. I would also recommend reading a few of your favorite picture books (fact or fiction) to help pull kids into loving what you love. I talk about the use of words and descriptions that authors use a lot. I go back and reread a sentence or paragraph sometimes 2 or 3 times to help them see what I love about it.

    Another great book is "Al Capone Does My Shirts" it is set on Alcatraz in the 1930s? The story is basically about a boy whose parents move to the island for his father's job. He has an autistic sister for whom he must take a great deal of responsibility. It's very interesting on many levels.
     
  12. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 31, 2005

    belovedrebel,
    You're right, and it would certainly be more interesting than writing to the principal to try to persuade him to make recess longer!
     
  13. Teacher-AK

    Teacher-AK Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2005

    I'm teaching in a mixed class of 3,4,and 5 and I'm reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for read-aloud. Though most of the students have either read it, or have seen the movie, they still really enjoy hearing it read to them. Also, I'm having the students do activities based on things in the book. For instance, I've had them create their own "golden tickets" and they are going to also create their own chocolate factories. I am going to tie in learning about the history of chocolate, as well.
     
  14. Gopher4

    Gopher4 Comrade

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    Nov 1, 2005

    I always read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at the beginning of the year. It's a funny book that all kids can relate to.
     

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