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Take Five for...

Reflecting on the Books
You Most Love to
Read Aloud to Kids


"I like to read to our students early in the school year. Doing so helps students understand the importance of reading for enjoyment. One of my favorite read-aloud books is Koala Lou, by Mem Fox. I really enjoy the story because it sends the same message that I want to convey to my students: No matter how busy I might be each day, I love them and want each of them to do their best." (Jim Clark)

"As a teacher, reading aloud to my kids was my favorite activity. Not only was it satisfying to read an engrossing story, but it was wonderful to see those open-mouthed faces as they listened intently. [Among my favorites] is Huge Harold by Bill Peet. [Appropriate for students in grades one to three, Huge Harold is a story about the oddity of a rabbit that grows huge.] People's reactions, intolerance, and genuine goodness are addressed in a rhyming, friendly, non-preachy way. Children are usually able to finish each couplet as you read, which makes reading this book an interactive experience as well." (Bridget Sullivan)

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What is your favorite book to read aloud to students? What is it about that book that makes for a special reading experience? Click to join the conversation. Share your thoughts about great books to read aloud. Other principals will appreciate your recommendations and insight.

"Books that taught character were among my favorite stories as a youngster, and as a principal, I have enjoyed reading them to students. My father used to read to me from a book called Stories That Never Grow Old. All the stories have a lesson. I love to read those stories to students and, since the stories are 'old,' many have never been heard by the students." (Barbara Woods)

"My favorite story to read to kids is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It is short enough so I can make it to all 23 classrooms and enjoy the moment, and it's powerful enough that the students respond to it in some way. It makes the kids think while it touches their hearts. Since many of us are trying to incorporate some kind of character education into our schools, I find this book a good way to get kids to think about absolute love, unconditional generosity that is not always reciprocated, and friendship. (Lucie Boyadjian)

"Students enjoy being read to at any age, particularly by somebody who is able to make the stories come alive. If we share the love of reading with our students, we can hook them on its joy. I keep coming back to Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I have read it to many age levels, including adolescent males. It lends itself to the reader 'hamming it up' quite nicely. And any child who has younger siblings can easily relate to it." (Norma Chenevert)

Take Five more to read this entire article from Education World's "Principal Files" series:
"Principals Share Favorite Read-Aloud Books"
(Education World -- November 5, 2000)