Even though I have never taught Reading in my four years of teaching…books are some of my favorite things! I love getting new picture books that I can read on certain occasion to my classes. I try to plug a book in whenever I can to my math lessons or on special activities (e.g., Holidays Around the World, the day before State Testing, World Kindness Day, 3rd Grade Marketplace, etc).
Here are my TOP 10 Favorite Read-Alouds for upper elementary students!
Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet – This book got my attention when it first came out simply because of my love for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! It is a true story of the man who created the parade and the large balloons that come along with it. The illustrations are amazing and bring the story to life! This book meant even more to me when my mom and I went to go see the parade in person in November 2018!
Never Too Young by Aileen Weintraur – This book holds FIFTY different short stories about Famous Americans who made a difference when they were children! There is a two-page spread per person with a drawing of the person, a quote from them, and their story. My third graders LOVE reading one each day and knowing that they can make a difference as well!
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers – Oh my! Where do I start with this one? Mary Poppins is my ALL-TIME favorite character. I would watch her movie over and over growing up because “there were no bad guys in it like the other Disney movies”! I love the creativity and imagination of the story and how it brings families together! This Mary Poppins picture book is new to stores and the illustrations are just amazing!
The Big Test by Julie Danneberg – This book is one of my favorites to read right before our big STAAR (state) test in May! It tells the story about how the students in her class are nervous and worried for the upcoming test and their teacher, Mrs. Hartwell, decides to give them a little surprise in the end! It is a great way to calm your students down before state testing and shows them that it’s not as big of a deal as people make it seem to be!
Sideways Stories of Wayside School by Louis Sachar – I was first introduced to this book series while I was student teaching! The chapters are really short (easy to read in 5 minutes) and they are HILARIOUS! I have read this series to my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and the laughing never stops!
The Potato Chip Champ by Maria Dismondy – This book has so many real-life experiences in it! I read this to my students on World Kindness Day (November 13th) and they LOVED IT! The story is so relatable because of the bullying/teasing that goes on but turns into a friendship that is unbreakable!
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors – by Drew Daywalt – This book is precious and HILARIOUS all rolled into one! I stumbled upon this book last year while doing some after school tutoring and I had no idea how much I would enjoy it! It is a great book for upper elementary students because they understand the actual game and the commentary between characters makes it even better!
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart – I found this book while shopping at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR. My family and I went on a vacation there in 2014 and it was one of my first books that I kept for my future classroom. It has moved with me through teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and I even dressed up as the main character, Lydia Grace, for Storybook Character Day at school. It is written in the form of letters and is great for introducing letter-writing to your students!
So there you have it, my top 10 favorite read-alouds. Some have more of a personal meaning and some are just funny, but they are ALL fabulous picture/chapter books to read to your kids! Leave a comment with your favorite picture book!