There are a bunch of really great literacy celebrations coming up and the first is line is my favorite: World Read Aloud Day (WRAD).
Classrooms all around the globe celebrate by reading aloud their favorite stories. And in our school we like to connect with other classrooms using Skype so that we can share our favorite stories with others (and hear their favorite stories as well)!
Sometimes we connect with authors or illustrators during WRAD and they read us a new story they've written or a favorite story they cherish.
Sometimes we take turns reading the same story together with another class.
Sometimes we share as many favorite read alouds as we can think of with one another, because connecting over books is one of the best things you can share with someone new.
There are a number of really outstanding resources for celebrating WRAD in your school (or with a school if you're an author or illustrator). Here are a couple to get you started:
I'm a little late to the party in terms of planning, so I created my own GoogleDoc sign-up for our K-5 elementary classes. We'd love to skype with classrooms, authors, illustrators, and cartoonists. Go to tinyurl.com/wrad18 or click on the image below to sign up for a time to connect with us.
Each of our classes will have the opportunity to connect with a class or author. Maybe it will be you!
Here are a few of the books we'll be reading and sharing:
Can an Aardvark Bark? by Melissa Stewart and Steve Jenkins (Illustrator)
This book has a clever structure. Each page set starts by asking the reader if an animal can make a specific sound (the answer is usually "no"). On the same spread a response informs readers of the kind of call that animal makes. There's a short explanation giving context to how the animal uses that sound. AND THEN you turn the page and see a whole set of animals using that same sound for different reasons. Did you know that rats can laugh?! Did you know that king cobras can growl?! Did you know that a gecko can bark?! I betcha didn't! Stewart's text is organized in such a fun, brilliant way that it calls out for the reader to explore the whole page. Paired with Jenkins' illustrations you literally have a book that will be studied by readers of all ages. And what really pushes this book over the top is when readers join in, making the sounds of each animal as a new question and response is shared!
What if Earth had an autobiography of eirself, reflecting eirs time in the Milky Way Galaxy family? Look no further, my friend. McAnulty's narration of Earth is sweet (see: how Earth knows the time it takes for Moon to rotate around em. "27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, and 12 seconds... I've timed her!" From Big Bang to big asteroid to the big responsibility of the human race, this book impresses me with every read. And that's to say nothing of a beautiful and clever art by David Lichfield (including a blushing Earth at the forming of Pangea). But my students' favorite part might be selecting the voice with which I read Earth's narrations. That got silly real fast!
I included this book in my Sleeper Hits of 2017 post a few weeks ago. Here's what I said about the story:
It's an opposite book about points of view because that's really how we qualify all opposite pairs, isn't it. But what's really wild is when you realize you've known this all along, but haven't ever considered it so explicitly. Check out these gorgeous lyrical gymnastics from the story's text: "Who's NEAR and who's FAR couldn't be clearer, but... does NEAR become FAR when FAR flies in NEARER." Striking illustrations to boot.
Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio and Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)
Manny has a cape for every day and for every imaginary adversary he faces. Alien robots? Zombie bears? Evil cloud monsters? Manny is POWERFUL! He is STRONG! He is BRAVE! And these enemies are no match for him. Manny's very special invisible cape helps him navigate the challenges at school, but an encounter with Tall One, who is bullying Small One at lunch, provides Manny with a chance to stand up in a new way. This school story takes on bullying in a fresh, new way and the illustrations are gorgeous. My students particularly love how the adversaries Manny faces early on in the book all match in color to the cape Manny wears.
The Teacher's Pet by Anica Mrose Rissi and Zachariah Ohora (Illustrator)
This book plays on the preposterous in such a fun way! Everyone in class is raising tadpoles from eggs and when our stories start the eggs have hatched. It's time to release the eggs back to the frog pond. Their teacher says they can keep just one, and the one they keep is Bruno (the tadpole belonging to the teacher). Only... readers will quickly discover that Mr. Strichter is not growing any ordinary pond creature. Rissi's story is so fun and the it's the children who are the voice of reason when it comes to this unusual pet. OHora limited and vibrant color palette and balance between the real and the ridiculous is the perfect match for the story. And make sure you look at the case cover beneath the dust jacket after reading the story for an extra surprise!
Flashlight Night by Matt Forest Esenwine and Fred Koehler (Illustrator)
Flashlight play in the backyard leads a group children through some amazing sights (a bear! an octopus! a tomb!), And the work that Koehler does to guide our eyes from the gray-toned night to the imagined world lit by the flashlight is so fun and so re-readable. This is a book my student always want to look at up close after I've read it to them.
We'll have a haul of other great stories in tow and we can't wait to see (and hear) what you'll bring to share.
So let's connect! Let's read aloud our favorite books! Let's do silly voices and make silly faces! Let connect and let's feel connected through amazing stories!
See you for World Read Aloud Day 2018!
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