I think doing a daily read aloud is something that no classroom should be without. It gives students shared experiences and skills. I can’t tell you how many times I say, “Remember when we read ____. The character was _____.” I use them for reference for many things throughout the school year. It’s also a great way to set the stage for a new unit, project, or mindset.
So, without further ado, here are five of my favorite read alouds for upper elementary students. If you don’t own any of these books and want to check them out on Amazon, you can click the picture to find the book on Amazon.
Ungifted by Gordon Korman
This book (and all books by Gordon Korman for that matter) is one of my absolute FAVORITE books to read aloud. It is perfect for a 5th grader’s sense of humor and teaches an amazing lesson. In this book, Donovan, an average student and a real pain in the butt behaviorally, accidentally gets sent to a gifted school. Donovan is anything but gifted. Both he and the students at the gifted academy learn many valuable lessons about life, learning, and fitting in. My students literally BEG me to read this to them every day.
Middle School the Worst Years of My Life
In my school, 5th grade is the last year in elementary. After they leave me, they head to middle school, so I LOOOOOVE to read this book to my students during the month of May. It is so funny, has super short chapters, and very cool illustrations. My students and I always look forward to reading this each day. It is also very different than the movie with the same title, so it is PERFECT for watching to compare and contrast the two. It also won’t matter if the students have seen the movie because they are VERY different storylines.
Fish in a Tree
Ahhh, this book just touches my special education teacher heart. When I read it, it makes me really think about how students with disabilities feel when sitting in our classrooms. But this book has more to it than that. It also teaches students about treating others how we would like to be treated, being a true friend, and that it’s ok to be different. It is an absolute must read if you are wanting to spark discussions and elicit an understand about people who struggle with learning.
We know it. We love it. WONDER! This is a book that I also love to read to my students. I honestly think our students deserve to hear it and think about people who are born differently. It has an amazing message about choosing kind and being ok with who you are.
The Sign of the Beaver
When I first moved into my 5th grade classroom, there was a class set of this book and it looked like they had been purchased in the 80s. I don’t know how old they were, but the cover didn’t even look appealing. But, I was excited about my new role and had the whole summer ahead of me. I took the book home with me and read within a few days. I’m not usually a historical fiction kinda girl, but I just really loved how the book allowed me to showcase so many social studies standards and build interest about the way of life of early settlers and Native Americans.