Friday, October 28, 2011

Seeds of Wisdom --- Read Alouds

Reading aloud is critical for helping children learn to read, so today, we share with you our favorite read-loud stories and activities that we use when we read them.

Sophie loves all Thomas the Train books. She knows all the words, so she can finish the sentences and knows when I skip a word! Bella likes Goodnight Gorilla - which is so fun since there aren't any words to the story!

Goodnight Moon-The text is very poetic and children enjoy the way the words rhyme. If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff is also one we enjoy. You can use the "If You Give" books to teach alliteration, the repetition of consonants at the beginning of the words. A fun activity that you can do with elementary and even as a creative writing activity for middle schoolers is to rewrite one of the stories and choose their own words using alliteration. For example, "If you give a penguin a popsicle, he'll want to share it with the polar bears. You'll have to take him to the market to buy more. While he is there he will see a new scarf for his mom..." And so on. You can even throw in some art and illustrate the rewritten story!

Over the years, we have read many great books, including some of the titles already mentioned. We like a variety of books, including classics, poetry, biographies, and historical fiction. Somehow, whatever book we are currently reading becomes our favorite for that time. However, my favorite books to read to them (so far) have been The Wheel on the School and The Wind in the Willows.

I enjoy very lyrical books, like "The Big Red Barn" by Margaret Wise Brown and "Stellaluna" by Jannell Cannon. My favorite thing to read out loud to my children include poetry or non-fiction books, like "The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems" by Mary Ann Hoberman, and the Usborn book "World Of Animals." Our favorite activity always seems to be discussion - my children are still talking about "Jabberwocky," the poem by Lewis Carrol that we read our first year of homeschooling together. I also like to have the children make a drawing of poems or animals from the books, and often their copy work is taken from something we are reading. My daughter recited the poem "Hippopatomus" from Mary Ann Hoberman's book for the party at the end of her kindergarten year - we had read it so many times, she just knew it by heart!

We LOVE read-alouds!  We read a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction.  Our favorites are the Bible, the Brown Bear series books, the If You Give a Mouse series books, and the Berenstain Bears.  We like to color or paint pictures related to the stories.  We also do sequencing activities with the events from the stories.

We love choosing chapter books to read each evening. We vary between classics and more recent books. We also read Bible stories. One of our favorite non chapter books is "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton.

Lunch time is often our read-aloud time, and I love choosing classics or children's abridged classics. We loved Charlotte's Web and Around the World in 80 Days. One of my children's favorite books (that I have memorized) is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We have a Chicka Boom tree in our school room and add letters as we learn them. My favorite childhood memories are of my Mom reading to me. I hope to pass that to my children.

What are your family's favorite read-aloud stories?

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