Are you using read alouds with your upper elementary students? If not, please tell me what you are waiting for!?
I love using interactive read alouds with my “big kids”. I love when you get to dig into a text that seems “simple” only to find how complex the text really is. Keep reading and I will give you my 5 best read aloud picture books for upper elementary plus activities to go with them, and an amazing FREEBIE you never knew you needed!
The Importance of Read Alouds in the Classroom
There are so many benefits of using read alouds in your upper elementary classroom. If you have been around for awhile, you know that my motto has always been “big kids like to have fun too!” Let’s always remember that they are kids, not just data for state testing.
The Benefits of Reading Picture Books Aloud to Upper Elementary Students:
- Read Alouds help INCREASE reading comprehension
- You can use Read Alouds to teach and practice a specific skill
- If done right, Read Alouds can actually help build a sense of community. By sharing a fun, interactive Read Aloud, students bring bond easily and naturally.
- Students are exposed to a variety of genres, topics and authors
- Read Alouds expose students to a higher level of text that they may not read on their own through exposure of new vocabulary and schema
- And the most obvious…students of all ages love being read to!
Best Picture Book Read Alouds for Upper Elementary
There are different types of genres that you can absolutely choose from when reading aloud to your students. The books below happen to be my favorite picture books for upper elementary because they all have an obvious skill to teach during the read aloud. You can check out some more diverse picture books here.
The books linked below are all Amazon affiliate links.
This is a great read aloud for teaching perspective in upper elementary. In this funny fairy tale read aloud, the wolf finally gets to tell his side of the story. It helps students understand that everyone has a different perspective regarding different situations in life.
I have used The True Story of the Three Little Pigs to teacher perspective with 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and even 6th grade. It’s a great book that all students relate to, but the depth of conversation spans depending upon your students ability and comprehension.
I always use this Point of View-Perspective- Read Aloud lesson with this book. It allows my students to write in their interactive notebooks and even have a mock trial when reading this picture book. It also has many graphic organizers, anchor charts and tons of activities to practice perspective taking in class!
The stranger that Farmer Bailey hits with his truck has some strange connections to the weather…could it possibly be Jack Frost? This picture book read aloud is really great for helping to teach the skill of inferencing.
Use these inferencing activities that go with it and you will be set with 5 days of lesson plans! In addition, it comes with exit tickets, writing prompts and even test prep.
Next, try teaching your 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th graders what a theme is by using the book The Big Orange Splot. It’s a great story about individuality, accepting others differences and respect for those around us.
I use these Lessons on Teaching Theme to introduce my students to this skill and use the mini lesson when reading The Big Orange Splot.
Are you looking for an Interactive Read Aloud that is rigorous, fun, and prepares your students for state testing? Try reading The Sweetest Fig to your students to teach them the concept of character traits plus get some more practice on identifying the theme of a story.
Do you want 6 days of detailed lessons over teaching theme and character traits? This unit even comes with tons of extension activities!
One of the other skills that I absolutely love to teach to upper elementary students during a read aloud is comparing and contrasting two different books by the same author. For example, above you could use the two books by Chris Van Allsburg to compare and contrast. I have also used Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type and Giggle, Giggle, Quack both by: Doreen Cronin.
I use this Compare and Contrast Unit to teach students how to compare and contrast the characters, setting, conflict, resolution and theme of two different picture books by the same author.
Free List of Read Alouds for Upper Elementary (3rd-6th Grades)
If you’re looking for even more read alouds that would be perfect for 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, or 6th grade, click below to grab a FREE list of even more Read Alouds for Upper Elementary!
Tell me, what are your favorite books for read alouds in upper elementary?