Read Alouds are all the rage in homeschooling circles, but the truth is that reading aloud to your children should be a priority even if your children attend school outside of the home. Many write off picture books because they believe that they are too easy/young for older children. However, when I was teaching High School English, I used them to teach literary elements/terms like irony, simile, metaphor, and more. I also used short stories as they offer uniquely, diverse viewpoints that help broaden a child (and a parent’s) perspective. I use read alouds to do two things: to help teach a concept and to foster a love of reading.
Here are a few suggestions for great read alouds.
Picture Books for Read Alouds:
- Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth: A community of selfish people learn that by working together they can turn nothing into something that will benefit all. Use this story to teach cooperation, patience, community responsibility, gratitude, and gratitude.
- Raven by Gerald McDermott: A trickster tale of the Raven, who wants to bring light to the people but he must find a way to fulfill his promise. Use to teach personification, myth, symbolism, metaphor, and folklore.
- The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss: A cautionary tale of what can happen when people don’t respect differences, even the little ones like on which side one butters bread.
- Jazz Cats by David Davis: A musical telling of the jazz life down in New Orleans. Use to teach personification, rhythm, rhyme, and how language evolves based on location, class, and profession.
- Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermontt: An Ashanti tale of a little being taking on some big forces. Use to teach personification, symbolism, myth, and the art of storytelling.
- Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Vernon Aardema: A creation myth that tells the unfortunate journey of the mosquitoes. Use for teaching personification, consequences, myth, symbolism, and the sequencing of events.
- Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe: A tale of two very different reactions to the challenge of being chosen to be Queen. Use to teach characterization as the two sisters are dynamic characters as well fleshed out.
Short Stories for Read Alouds:
These are available for free and the links provided will take you to the free, legal version. The short stories can be used to teach various elements of fiction. From characterization to setting, using these stories as read alouds
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
- Little Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen
- Aesop’s Fables
- The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen
- The Frog Prince by The Brothers Grimm
- The Star Child by Oscar Wilde