[library-media] Short read aloud resources?

Stanton Fuller smfuller at weber.k12.ut.us
Wed Dec 3 08:52:16 MST 2008

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I had a couple of request for
sharing, so at the risk of being repetitively redundant, I have pasted
all the responses so far to my request for help with our resource
reading class and read aloud sources below.  
The Book Link "Reid-Aloud Alert”  is exactly what I had in mind but
didn’t know where to find.
What I plan on doing the first time I have the class in the library is
a book extravaganza that I learned about while attending the AASL
convention in Reno last year. The presentation was called “Promoting
Pleasure Reading: The Power of Choice” and it was presented by a bevy of
teachers from the Highland Park ISD in Houston, TX. I have attached
their handouts from the presentation to this email. To do this activity
you have to pull many books of all different genres and put them on
tables around the room. When the class arrives you assign a few students
to each table and give them a chart (see page 8 & 9 of the attached hand
out). Set a time limit and tell the students they need to look at X
number of books (2 or 3 would probably work) in 5 or 10 minutes (or
whatever you want to set the time as). They look at the book covers, the
jackets, the back of the books and read the first page or two, then put
down a few notes on their chart. After the time limit you rotate them to
a new table. This continues until their chart is full.  They now have a
list of books that they have been briefly exposed to and can go back to
when they are looking for something to read. 
I haven’t tried this activity yet, but I am excited about exposing kids
to books that they never would have been exposed to without it.
On the weeks following I plan to use the Book Links Reid-Aloud Alerts
to pull some excerpts from books and read them aloud to get them even
more exposure.
Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions. If my plan doesn’t seem
to be working out I’ll try some more of your suggestions until we find
what works with this group.
Stan Fuller
Library/Media Teacher
Wahlquist Junior High
PS: your suggestions are pasted below.
Jim Trelease has 2 great anthologies.
Lisa Morey
I am a librarian at Highland High School in Salt Lake. I was looking
a way to help our "non readers" and purchased some Playaways from
Follet. I then created "kits" with the book and the Playaway. The
students can follow along as someone reads the story to them. Most of
the kids love them! I have titles like Eldest, The Outsiders, Anne
Frank, Hoot....etc. The are a bit pricey, but I hope with it! You can
also hook the Playaway up to speakers and a group could listen as the
story is read.
Hope this helps! 
P.S. Once the student checks out the kit the teacher keeps it locked
her room so it is kept safe!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the various publishers of YA fiction have
started to post book trailers on their websites. There was even an
article/activity in The School Librarian's Workshop: New Year 2009
edition that just arrived. These trailers are meant to work like movie
trailers and some are quite good. I'd probably start with a few
author/publisher websites to see if they are posting any. It also
be worth asking several other students to come in a read a passage
a book they really liked.
Cathleen Edwards
Library Media Specialist
SyracuseHigh School
Have you looked at the The Read-Aloud Handbook: Sixth Edition
by Jim Trelease ? It covers different topics and has small excerpts
books that students can then check out. I used to use an older version
this book when I taught eighth graders and they seemed to like
listening to  
the stories.
Laura Holton
Thomas Edison Charter School North
North Logan, Utah
We worked up a plan with one resource teacher where the library
purchased a "Playaway" and the teacher purchased copies of the book. 
The students would listen to the story and follow along with their
 They would cover a chapter or two and then discuss it.  She said her
students loved that approach.  
Cathy Keller
Library Teacher
TimpanogosHigh School
The thing I do is tell about some of the books I have read that I
liked. Or I have gone through the book and book marked a page where
something exciting is happening and read that page to the kids. Then
actually holding the book & the kids can see it. One problem with that
that they all want to check it out & you never have enough copies.   
even mention a couple that I did not like so they know that they may
like them because it is a boring book.  ie Village by the Sea by Paula
Fox-nothing happened in that book)
 It is a good idea to have a 3 x 5 card with you when you read books,
jot down title, author & pages with great places to read aloud from
future reference  & save them in a file.   (& a couple sentence
about what the book is about)
Some good ones:   Overboard  by Fama, Return with honor  by Scott
(read when he is drinking the water from his grody socks),  Deathwatch 
Robb White,  Black Horses for the King (reluctant readers have come
back to
me raving about it) by Anne McCaffrey,  
If you want more, I'll send more later when I have a bit more time.
Voni Rivas
South Cache, 10 S 480 W, Hyrum, UT 84319
There was a UELMA workshop awhile back about using picture books in
secondary setting; it might be worthwhile for you to investigate the
concepts presented there.  You should be able to search the handout
archives and find some appropriate suggested titles,etc., but I think
you might also have success if you simply select some picture books or
easy nonfiction yourself, to read aloud and discuss, that could act as
bridge to spark the kids' interest in "chapter books" or even a few
advanced nonfiction titles about related subjects.  Such books usually
take about 15 minutes to read.  If you're interested, e-mail me
directly, and I'd be happy to share more information.  Good luck!
Marney Zambrano
Harris Elementary in Tooele
Here is a book that we have had success with for our School to Success
classes (students who hate to read).  The book is called, Chess Rumble
by G. Neri.  The story is about the game of chess and how it applies
real life.  We are having practice chess games in the library for
December and then in January we are having a chess tournament.  The
prize is $100.00 in prizes for the winner.  
I have, also, had success with the Cirque du Freak series by Daren
for boys who hate to read.  
Kathy Dale
Riverview Junior High
Book Links magazine usually has a section titled "Reid-Aloud Alert" in
which various books are highlighted with a "10 minute selection" for
reading aloud. For example: So B. It by Sarah Weeks. Read the last third
of chapter 3 titled, "Hello":. Begin with the sentence " We don't know
exactly when my birthday is because....."   I find it very useful.
Leslie Linton
After reading Leslie's Book Links R-A Alert suggestion, mine seems dull
in comparison.  Anyway, try Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children by
William F. Russell ISBN 0-517-58715-7.  It has selections from
Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, London and more.  Wait a minute, did I say
classics seem dull? Strike that, shame on me!
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