The Global Read Aloud is coming this fall (starting October 6 – November 14). For the duration of these 6 weeks, teachers will read aloud a book (or books by a particular author for primary-aged students). Learn more about the Global Read Aloud by watching this video by Pernille Ripp. More information about the timeline can be found here. What makes this even more interesting and engaging for students is the possibility of connecting with others who are also reading these books world-wide. I know many teachers who would like to involve their students in more global connections, but they are a bit afraid or intimidated by the process. The Global Read Aloud takes much of the planning away and allows you to focus on really great books and beginning to take that risk to connect with other classes world-wide.
This summer, I read all but one of the books for the Global Read Aloud (one is not yet been published). This year the grade recommendations have been removed so as to give teachers more flexibility over which book they choose for their students (or which book they choose together). Since I have read the books, I thought I would help people out a bit by telling you what they are each about and what grade I would feel they would be most appropriate (however, you will know best once you meet your students).
First of all, the author study this year is Peter H. Reynolds. He is such an inspiring author and illustrator whose books are filled with wonderful messages. Even though these are recommended for primary-aged students, students of any age would get a lot out of the messages in these books. I would actually propose that older students/adults would probably make the most profound connections with Peter H. Reynold’s messages. Here are the books for the author study. Where possible, I have linked to the reading of each book (or a preview) so you can get to know the story. There are some other great resources for the books here on the FableVision website.
If you enjoy Peter H. Reynold’s books, and their messages, as much as I do, you may want to check out International Dot Day on (or around) September 15 (I already have my Dot Day dress picked out!). This wonderful day is based around the book The Dot. If you have not read this book, you NEED to! The message in this book is a wonderful start to the new school year!
The other books (novels) are:
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
This is a sweet story about a fragile china rabbit and his journey in finding love and happiness when he is separated from his young owner who loved him dearly. This story brought a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes. You actually become very connected with this character and long for his happiness in his journey. This story is full of wonderful vocabulary! I would recommend this book to be read aloud to students in Grades 3-5.
One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
This is a book I will not soon forget. It is about a 12-year-old girl who is put into foster care after a horrendous situation with her mother and her step-father. You read about the struggles she has connecting with this somewhat “perfect” family – far different from her own. Through these challenges, she gets closer and closer to the family and connects to them in a way that she never felt possible. And then, it’s time to go back with her mom… This book brought me to tears many times. Does the “ugly cry” sound familiar to you? Maybe it was just because of the personal connections I made with the book, but it is a great story of survival, personal discovery, and love. I would be cautious about reading this book to a class, depending on the personal experiences of the students you have in your class. It might be a very difficult book for some children to listen to. Perhaps, if you have a student who might connect strongly to the book, a conversation or allowing the student to pre-read the book might be a good idea. I would recommend this book for the middle years – Grades 6-8.
The Fault in our Stars by John Greene
I enjoyed reading this book about a girl with terminal cancer. It was very sad in parts, yet also sweet in others. I would recommend this to be read to students in Grade 8-10. While some younger individual students may enjoy this book, I would be very cautious about reading it aloud. There are some scenes that may not be appropriate for younger students.
The Fourteeth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
If you have not already done so, you might want to consider signing up for the Global Read Aloud 2014 here. It really is a wonderful, well-organized way to begin making those global connections in a meaningful way! You can really do as little or as much as you want. You can connect online to classes around the world using whichever tool you are most comfortable: Twitter, Edmodo, Google Hangout, Skype, the Wiki, or blogging. Pernille Ripp lists many of the ways you can connect here.
Good luck and I look forward to hearing how you connect or how you encourage the other educators in (or outside of) your building to connect.