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Sunday, September 16, 2018

What Are You Reading? Back to School Read Aloud and Shared Reading Ideas

It’s official. Everyone is back to school.  Many have mixed feelings about school starting.  Staff have a crazy starting routine, with getting to know new students, organizing schedules, and making lesson plans.  

When I was working for a school district, I had 78 students in 4 different schools, and scheduling was a nightmare.  Fortunately, so much of what I did was working with stories, that I could pull out the relevant books and get going.

Books are amazing therapy resources, and perfect for any classroom.  Use the required reading list, the books teachers are using, or select your own.  My collection was divided by grade and “theme.”  Some were typical themes; like food, family, and seasons.  Others, however, focused on point of view, voice, and prediction.

For back to school, there are 2 books in particular I’ve been using the past couple of years; “I’m Your Bus,” and “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”  

“I’m Your Bus,” by Marilyn Singer, is perfect for back to school time.  The book focuses on what the school bus does, but it’s simple to extrapolate once the bus arrives at school.  Create sequences for your school’s routine.  Discuss the people and places the bus passes  on its way to school.

The book is also great for phonological awareness skills, as it contains rhyme. And use the long list of vocabulary words found in the story to segment syllables.  You can download that worksheet here, just drag and drop the image onto your desktop.

The other book I love is “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” by Mark Teague. He’s a great author for kids.  And this story allows you to dig deep into some aspects of real/not real and hyperbole, or exaggeration.  It’s a modern “Tall Tale.”  And, it also uses lots of rhyme, so keep on working on those phonological awareness skills.

The boy’s story is this: His parents wanted him to have a quiet vacation but he was captured by cowboys (wherein all sorts of things happened).  So, he got to his aunt’s house finally but the cattle stampeded, so he used a tablecloth like a matador and saved everyone.
That’s the really, really condensed version.

Both of these books, which are wildly different from each other in terms of structure and complexity, both offer many opportunities to work on building language skills.  Enjoy these 2 free phonological awareness worksheets and, if you’re interested in language-based materials for these two books, ride on over to my TpT store for the full resources.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, where I’ll be giving away books and other goodies as I clean out my office after 40 years as a SLP.