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Kindergarten read-aloud suggestions

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I'll be going into my son's class to do some readalouds soon. Any suggestions? The class is somewhat rowdy and the teacher will not be present while I do this, so I want something that will really captivate the group and keep them (at least most of them) from wandering off.

Thanks!
#1 - April 01, 2011, 05:50 PM
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smichel

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When it comes to a squirmy group of kindergartners, it's probably best to do something with lots of repetition that they can participate in a little. Some suggestions:

1. We're Going On a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen  See the YouTube video for some ideas on how to get the kids involved in the hand motions.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytc0U2WAz4s

2.The Three Little Pigs, by James Marshall   I always got the kids to huff and puff along with me and used some hand gestures, like rubbing my chin at "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin."

3. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems.  After reading the book twice, I showed the kids how to draw the pigeon, step by step.  Not so hard.

4. Possum Come a Knockin', by Nancy Van Laan. Very rhythmic like music.

5. Fortunately, by Remy Charlip.  

6. Hush: a Thai Lullaby, by Mingfong Ho.  Also a Caldecott Honor book.  There are two stories taking place in this book. I usually had the kids help me  pat out the rhythm of the text on their laps.

Anyhow, just a few titles you might want to take a look at.

Good luck!
Stella
#2 - April 01, 2011, 06:23 PM
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 06:44 AM by smichel »

feecaro

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I second the idea that books with lots of repetition and possibilities for movement are good for the Kinder set.  My 5-year old LOVES Julia Donaldson's THE GRUFFALO: fantastic verse, repetition (they'll have parts of it memorized by the end), and you could even have the kids act it out afterward, if you're up for some mayhem :-) 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Bill Martin, Jr. et. al.)  --very catchy

or perhaps something from Jon Scieszka's Trucktown series?  His picture books are sparse on text and big on splashy images, and that might captivate a rowdy bunch for a bit. 

Good luck and have fun!

Carolyn

#3 - April 01, 2011, 07:32 PM

When it comes to a squirmy group of kindergartners, it's probably best to do something with lots of repetition that they can participate in a little. Some suggestions:

1. We're Going On a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen 

My sister and I ADORED this book as little kids; the repetition is great fun.

Another fun book is Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd. The story involves repeating a long list of quirky dog characters with quite a bit of alliteration and rhyming to help kids remember them all. I can still recite quite a few of the lines, just from memories of my own kindergarten days.  :)
#4 - April 01, 2011, 08:17 PM
MG/ YA Fantasy from PRH (Aus):

* ƇᕼAᔕIƝG ƬHƐ ѴALLƐƳ trilogy (2013-2014)
* Tɧe HµSɧ (2015)
* Aℊeηt NøмAⅾ series (2017)

http://twitter.com/SkyeOhWhy

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina or
Bark George by Jules Feiffer
#5 - April 01, 2011, 08:47 PM
Keep moving foward - Walt Disney

Children's Librarian, Writer

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I had my son's 4 y.o. preschool class completely enchanted by Skippy Jon Jones and the Mummy Trouble. The unusual words and sing-song pattern really got their attention
#6 - April 02, 2011, 06:06 AM
Twitter: @ KarenBlyToo

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
#7 - April 02, 2011, 06:31 AM

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Some BB recommendations for the younger set:

IS YOUR BUFFALO READY FOR KINDERGARTEN? by  Audrey Vernick

THIS TREE COUNTS by Alison Formento

TOO PURPLEY! and TOO PICKLEY! by Jean Reidy

WINK THE NINJA WHO WANTED TO BE NOTICED and the newly released WINK THE NINJA WHO WANTED TO NAP by J.C. Phillips

#8 - April 02, 2011, 06:41 AM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
http://bibliolinks.wordpress.com/

carlynnw

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Click, Clack, Moo! (illustrated by Betsy Lewin...blanking on the author) is a favorite at our house.  Also any of the 'How Do Dinosaurs...' books by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.
#9 - April 02, 2011, 02:27 PM

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I teach Pre-K but the age and attention span difference is so slight, especially at this time of year!  Winners for me that I know will capitivate interest--I, STINK, by Kate and Jim McMullan, and ABIYOYO, by Pete Seeger.  Hard to compete against a garbage truck and a giant.
Also, anything by Mr. Willums.
#10 - April 02, 2011, 03:07 PM

Also take a look at Linda Urban's MOUSE WAS MAD and Kristy Dempsey's MINI RACER.
#11 - April 02, 2011, 05:21 PM
ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO! Candlewick, 2017
LOUD LULA, Two Lions 2015
CALIFORNIA HISTORY FOR KIDS, CRP
FARMER MCPEEPERS Rising Moon

I'm a former first grade teacher who taught sheltered English.  Books that have rhyming patterns are great for children this age.

1.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear
2. Chick a Chick a Boom Boom
3. Today is Monday by Eric Carle
4. Chicken Soup with Rice: A book of Months  is a fun one.  I made copies of each month and had my students illustrate each month and place on a cut out bowl.  We recited each month.  I used big books a lot.
5. Any Eric Carle books

#12 - April 02, 2011, 06:50 PM
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smichel

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Brown Bear is great but by this time in the school year, most kindergartners have heard it half a dozen times. 

Also meant to mention A Visitor For Bear, by Bonnie Becker. Great, captivating story.

Stella
#13 - April 03, 2011, 06:53 AM

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Thanks for all the suggestions! There are some good ones here that I haven't read before -- off to the library to check them out!

Carrie
#14 - April 03, 2011, 08:00 AM
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I just went to my daughter's kindergarten to read aloud, and this is what I brought: (note--we were in small groups, so some of these may be better than others for a group the size of a whole class)

Weekend with Wendell, Kevin Henkes
Baby Brains Superstar, Simon James
Ruby, Maggie Glen
Frog in Love, Max Velthjuis
Baker Cat, Posy Simmonds (illos are small, almost like a graphic novel, so this is better with a smaller group)

I think for a group that is large and/or gets distracted easily, you want something funny and where the characters have distinct voices. The variety and the anticipation of punchlines helps hold interest.

Quiet books or books with too many unnecessary words don't work so well in that setting. (You want to finish reading the words aloud in about the time it takes the kids to "read" the pictures.)
#15 - April 03, 2011, 11:55 AM

kathym44

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 Our class just had a field trip to the library and one of the stories the librarian read was called "Hi Pizza Man" by Virginia Walter.  The kids loved this story, and it's fun and interactive.  On the pizza theme... a favorite I've read to my K students is "The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza" (can't think of the author at the moment).  It's a silly story with repetition that invites participation.  Have fun!   
#16 - April 03, 2011, 12:33 PM

It depends on the kindergartens.  I taught second language learners and any predicatable books was a must.  Also we used tons of big books.  Toward the end of first grade I was reading outloud Junie B. Jones to my stories.  More advance students were reading Magic Tree house books.  Depends on the class and students.
#17 - April 04, 2011, 07:53 PM
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Muncha Muncha Muncha! by Candace Fleming. Those sneaky bunnies have my kids laughing every time. Lots of repetition and fun sound words.
#18 - April 04, 2011, 09:38 PM
ANNIE B. MADE FOR TV, Running Press Kids 2018
MAURICE THE UNBEASTLY, Sterling 2017
SOPHIE'S ANIMAL PARADE, Sky Pony 2015
MARATHON MOUSE, Sky Pony 2012

I was the mystery reader for my nieces' and nephew's 1st and 2nd grade classes. I always tried to find something fun.
They liked these:

Too Much Noise  (Students stayed involved by making the sound effects).
Tadpole's Promise (think it's out of print, but if the library has one, they love it!)
Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big (lots of fun)
Pete the Cat (make sure you teach them the song!)
The Louds Move In (be prepared for the laughter when you say the word "diaper")

Have fun.
#19 - April 05, 2011, 03:26 AM
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www.riterdave.blogspot.com

BTW ECF,
  You mentioned that the teacher will not be present when you do this. I'm not sure where you are, but many states have laws about leaving the students with non-school personnel, except in specific situations (i.e field trip small groups, volunteer tutoring). You may want to check on that.
  In most cases if something happens, you, the teacher and the school are not covered legally or with the school's insurance. I'm a still a licensed teacher, but when I'm speaking at schools, I put it in the contract agreement that I am not an employee of the school and do not expect to be left alone with the students. I state right in my contract that if the teacher leaves the room, even to answer a phone call in the hall, I will step outside until he or she returns and the students will be left unattended.
 
Good luck!
#20 - April 05, 2011, 03:37 AM
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Nita9

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If no one's suggested it, you could try the Junie B Jones series. She starts kindergarten in the first book.

:)
#21 - April 05, 2011, 08:10 PM

m_stiefvater

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Definitely second (or third_) DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS. My kindergartener loves this and it's a great readaloud. He also loves THERE'S A NIGHTMARE IN MY CLOSET and BUT NO ELEPHANTS!
#22 - April 06, 2011, 06:01 AM

Ooh, I second THERE'S A NIGHTMARE IN MY CLOSET.

I had first graders who were reading Junie B. Jones and when my son was in kindergarten he read more read aloud books with predictable language.  I read every day to my first graders a chapter from Junie B. Jones and went through the whole series in that year.  I did have some advance readers who were reading the books by themselves.
#23 - April 06, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Thanks so much for all the ideas! I did want to stay away from chapter books since there's not much to look at and it's hard to end the read-aloud quickly (or make it more dramatic) if some kids are losing interest.

Dave R -- good point about the legality. I hadn't thought of that. It is possible that the assistant teacher will remain in the room. I'll check on that.
#24 - April 06, 2011, 09:57 AM
www.carriefinison.com
DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS - Putnam (coming in 2020)

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These are excellent choices.

Also try and get the children involved and don't be afraid to embellish...

Have Fun
#25 - April 06, 2011, 10:40 AM

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Hi everyone -

I did my readaloud yesterday -- ended up having less time than I thought because we also did an art project with the class. I reviewed the books I was able to get at the library with my son the day before and we chose Muncha, Muncha, Muncha for the class (he thought it was hilarious). The kids LOVED it, and were shouting out "Muncha, Muncha, Muncha" with me by the end.

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. We're enjoying reading them all.

Carrie
#26 - May 04, 2011, 09:34 AM
www.carriefinison.com
DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS - Putnam (coming in 2020)

smichel

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Muncha Muncha Muncha was a terrific choice. It's also one of my favorite read alouds. So funny! Glad to hear it went over well.

Stella
#27 - May 15, 2011, 11:54 AM

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Yay! So glad Muncha Muncha Muncha was a hit!

 :whitebunny Amy
#28 - May 15, 2011, 12:26 PM
ANNIE B. MADE FOR TV, Running Press Kids 2018
MAURICE THE UNBEASTLY, Sterling 2017
SOPHIE'S ANIMAL PARADE, Sky Pony 2015
MARATHON MOUSE, Sky Pony 2012

"Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?" was popular with the last kindergarten group I worked in.  We finished every session with that poem.  It was interactive and a great group activity.  Perfect for read aloud,  but by the end of that contract, I wanted to do some slightly nasty to that brown bear! :voodoo
It is written by Bill Martin Jnr.
Here is a link you might want to check out: http://www.thevirtualvine.com/brownbear.html

We used to read it: Brown Bear, Bear, (pause) What do you see?
Children: I see a purple cat...looking at me.

It could be worth investigating.
Best of luck
#29 - May 16, 2011, 03:00 AM

Heather Hatch

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Long after Carrie's successful visit reading Muncha Muncha Muncha-

My mom was a librarian. I was remembering the shelves of materials on storytelling technique and class after class where she would take a story, memorize it, and practice, practice, practice.

Just want to point out how easy most of the books on this list make it easy to do a read aloud with great storytelling skill and showmanship. They're written so well it is very obvious "how" to read them, where the tempo slows, when to chant, or whisper, or how to voice emotion, whether it's indicated by typeface, layout, character expression, whatever. There is 'music' in the reading.

Got to be good at that to hold a group nowadays... I hadn't really paid attention to the implied "reader style notes" that are written "into" contemporary 'instant classic' pbs. Demonstration  of our very media savvy culture.
#30 - May 29, 2011, 11:48 PM

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