It’s nearing the end of the school year! Can you even believe it?
Doesn’t it seem like the longer you teach, the faster the school year seems to zoom by?
The end of the school is the time when we help our students look back on their work and relive memories of the school year.
One of our favorite things to do is revisit and reread some of our favorite read alouds.
Read aloud has always been a favorite part of our school day, not just because we share books that hold much teaching potential for future minilessons. Read aloud is a time for us to take our students into another world where they can make new friends and have new adventures. We know…it sounds cheesy… But let’s think about it…the characters we share with our students connect with their own lives and have experiences that some of our students have had.
The books we share with our students help them reflect on their own lives. Of course, we model that reflective thinking, but throughout the school year our students develop their own reflective thinking processes while reading.
Since it’s the end of the school year, we wanted to share some of our favorites with you. They all have young characters that experience a similar theme of independence and the changes children go through as while growing up. Many of them are set during the summer season.
Hopefully, you are familiar with some of these titles and can revisit them to relive classroom memories. If not, then I hope you can use some of these titles to build some memories with your students before they move up to the next grade.
Read Alouds PERFECT for the End of the School Year
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
Who doesn't love reliving those family gatherings with relatives? This book provides a connection that most of us can relate to--spending time with family members.
Fireflies! by Julie Brinckloe
Those summer nights spent catching fireflies. The excitement that a young one feels when they finally get to do something they've been waiting for.
My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother
Thank You, Mr. Falker &
Lightening in a Jar by Patricia Polacco
You cannot go wrong with ANY Patricia Polacco title. She is one our our favorites to use all year long. These titles provide a point for students to relate and connect to those family experiences--good and bad.
The Memory String by Eve Bunting
Students that have experience loss can definitely relate to the main character. She has to accept her new stepmother while she dearly misses her mother.
The Raft by Jim LaMarche
Spending the summer with grandmother is always and adventure and a learning experience.
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
Brothers, sisters, new friends and enemies... How great can a summer be with a little encouragement from Dad.
A Quiet Place by Douglas Wood
Everybody needs a quiet place. This short read can help students understand how to look inside themselves to find a quiet place. Love the one where the "only people talking are between the covers of a book".
The Ghost’s Grave by Peg Kehret
Who wouldn't want to experience Josh's eventful summer spend with Aunt Ethel? The first line of the book can hook anyone... "The night I moved in with Aunt Ethel, she shot a bat in the kitchen."
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
This book is a "heavy" topic for older readers. We've read it to our 4th graders and 5th graders. Hollis is a foster child that has moved from home to home but establishes relationships that she desperately wants back. This complex text is a great read for older students.
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The love of a girl and her dog, Winn Dixie. This book provides so many characters to which the reader can relate and connect. The characters evolve with each page of the book. An enjoyable book with a great message.
Wishes by Barbara O'Conner
A book for older readers...
This is another book about tough social issues. A little girl is taken from her home to be placed in foster care with her aunt and uncle. She is looking to find her place and deal with her emotions. Sometimes what you wish for is not really what you wanted.
Summer of the Gypsy Moth by Sara Pennypacker
Another book for older readers...
Girls in foster care experience a tough loss and take matters into their own hands. It's a book about making tough decisions to keep their family together.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
You can't go wrong with sending students up to the next grade level thinking about the places they can go. A great conversation starter about the future.
Look into the stack of books you have shared with your students this year.
What were their favorites? What resonated with the students the most?
Relive those memories and experiences by giving them one last time to enjoy those titles with you.
What are your favorite go-to read alouds at the end of the school year?
Until the conversation continues...