There is the presumption that when kids get older, like upper elementary, middle, and high school, that they don't need to be read to anymore. I was under that presumption for a long time, but then I realized after building a supportive personal learning network on Twitter what opportunities I was missing by not reading aloud to my class. Read alouds build community, they allow students to experience a reading role model, and they give a class an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy a great work of literature.
Often teachers think they don't have time to read aloud to kids when they get older because there's just too much curriculum to cram into a day, week, month, and year (high stakes testing certainly doesn't help with this presumption).
A few years ago, I decided to make a commitment to setting aside time everyday to read aloud to my sixth graders, and their responses this year to their favorite read aloud only solidified my reasons for sharing this experience with my students, no matter how old they are.
Here's what some of them had to say:
My favorite read aloud was probably When You Reach Me
because it didn't leave you bored at any time. Also it was kind of
funny when everyone started arguing of what they think's going to
My favorite read aloud this year was When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead. I read it before, but hearing it read aloud is
different, better somehow. I noticed details I had sort of mentally
overlooked in my excitement to finish the book. I really enjoyed
listening to it, as it is one of my favorite books anyway.
My favorite read aloud this year was When You Reach Me.
This was my favorite because there was a lot of suspense and it was
very fun to predict what was going to happen. I also really liked Turtle in Paradise because it was easy to follow and in some ways, very relateable.
I hope the new literature/English teacher does read alouds.
My favorite read aloud was Wonder and When You Reach Me
because I loved reading Wonder by myself and it was even more fun
reading it with the class. When You Reach Me had so much anticipation! I
My favorite read aloud was by far Wonder
by RJ Palacio. It was very descriptive and was really funny in some
parts. My favorite part was when Jack was being yelled at, so Justin
walked up to the boys that were bullying Jack and showed them his fiddle
case. The boys thought there was a gun in the case. They ran away
screaming like six-year-old girls.
My favorite read aloud was
awesome. It was Wonder. It really made me think about what Auggie went
through. Not to mention that the story was super funny and emotional.
You (Mrs. Shaum) even cried! So I loved the book Wonder. It was easily
My favorite read aloud this year was Wonder.
I really liked the characters, especially Auggie. This book was very
emotional for me and Mrs. Shaum. This book is one of my true favorites
and always will be.