Tag Archives: language arts

Read Aloud Round-Up: The 10 Books I Suggest Most for Middle School Read Alouds

It is perhaps one of the most gratifying parts of my job: when a teacher comes into the library, practically jumping up and down because their read aloud is going so well- and I was the one to suggest the book they are reading.

I have a few qualifications for a good read aloud.

First, it can’t be very long.  I have ADD.  And I’m a fast reader.  If a book runs too long, I will abandon it half way through and leave the kids hanging.  That’s not good.

Second, it needs to be suspenseful.  Every chapter should offer some action or important information.

Third, it can’t have too much detail.  That gets real boring real fast.  I understand that detail is great when you are reading to yourself, but for a read aloud? No.

These are the tried-and-true titles.  The ones that multiple teachers have used multiple times and have always found them to work.

1. The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

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2. Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

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3. Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

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4. Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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5. How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg and Kevin O’Malley

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6. The Shadow Club by Neal Shusterman

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7. Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman

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8. Read All About It by Jim Trelease (this one was especially good for my Read-Aloud ADD)

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9. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (some classics never get old)

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10. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

when-you-reach-meIf you decide to do any of these, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  As a matter of fact, I think you’ll love them!

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Freebie Friday! Reader’s Workshop Minilessons!

Happy Friday!

A couple of years ago, I compiled a number of sources to come up with a minilesson PowerPoint that I knew would last for weeks. I did NOT present this entire PowerPoint in one day. I used a couple of slides each day for weeks.

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In order to really understand this PowerPoint, you need to watch Shrek. I know, I know… but really! Shrek is an awesome point of reference for pretty much any literary device you can possibly think of. When I started teaching, I could count on the fact that everyone had seen it. Later on? Not so much! So… I showed Shrek. Early in the year. It was great! For the rest of the year, we all had a common point of reference when talking about literary elements and devices. So, these slides all refer back to Shrek.

It worked. Really. The kids totally, totally got it. Trust me. 🙂

Reader’s Workshop Minilessons

Have a great weekend! Check back next week for another Freebie Friday!

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