We have been writing close reading lessons for a few years now and were getting skilled at planning close reads for popular children's books. Last fall, we decided to start the daunting task of writing our own curriculum. We embarked on our journey to infuse Core Standards into our read aloud time. We still teach phonics, grammar, and writing, but use our read aloud time to immerse our kids in their favorite stories AND teach Core Literature Standards at the same time.
Our Year of Read-Alouds curriculum can be implented in any classroom. If you teach in a school where you have the freedom to make curriculum choices, this is all you will need to cover the Reading Literature Standards. If you teach in a school where the basal isn't the only resource that can be used, our Read-Alouds are the perfect resource to extend your basal instruction. If you teach in a school where you cannot stray from the basal, our Read Alouds can be taught exclusively during your read-aloud time.
We have been teaching this Read-Aloud curriclum in our school since September. We have found it to be incredibly easy to use and engaging for our students. In one week, we teach all eight Reading Literature standards using current children's literature. New authors and illustrators engage readers in a way that can't compare to some obsolete stories that are still in old basals. Of course there is always room for classic children's literature and that is why we have included old favorites in our Read-Alouds.
The way authors and illustrators work together to write books can't been seen the first time you read a book to your students. We have learned so much from revisiting the same book several times, and so have our students. Our students love figuring out what more they can learn about the story through the illustrations and text working together. They also love paying attention to the author's craft. They are experts at noticing and understanding the author's use of rhyme, enlarged or bold text, italics, ellipsis, etc..
This is just one example of how we meet Core Standards with our read-alouds. There are a hundred more reasons why it is better to teach using current literature in your classroom.
Check out our other read-aloud posts to learn more how we meet all the standards one read-aloud at a time throughout the school year.