Read-Aloud Rituals: Choose-a-Book

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Choose-a-Book was my favorite and longest running read-aloud rituals. Each morning my students were greeted with two picture books displayed on plate stands. As students arrived, they placed a unifix cube in front of the book they wanted to hear during our morning read aloud. 

During Morning Meeting I read aloud the book that received the most votes.  My helpers of the day replaced the empty spot with a new book for the next day’s “choose-a-book”. 

How to Select Books for Choose-a-Book

I usually selected my books based on authors and we spent two weeks with each author. In order to be chosen as a Choose-a-Book author, that author has to have written at least 10 picture books. See my list below for some of my students’ favorites. What names would you add to this list?

Some Authors Who Have Written at Least 10 Picture Books:

  • Chris Van Allsburg
  • Frank Asch
  • Jan Brett 
  • Margaret Wise Brown
  • Eve Bunting 
  • Eric Carle 
  • Doreen Cronin
  • Tomie DePaola 
  • Lois Ehlert 
  • Denise Fleming
  • Mem Fox
  • Marla Frazee
  • Don Freeman
  • Kevin Henkes
  • Mary Ann Hoberman
  • Ezra Jack Keats
  • Steven Kellogg
  • Martry Kelly
  • Jack Kent 
  • Helen Lester
  • Leo Lionni 
  • Robert McCloskey
  • David McPhail
  • Bill Martin Jr.
  • Mercer Mayer
  • Robert Munsch 
  • Laura Numeroff
  • Margie Palatini
  • Bill Peet
  • Patricia Polacco
  • Cynthia Rylant
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Shel Silverstein
  • William Steig
  • Chris Van Dusen
  • Judith Viorst
  • Lisa Wheeler
  • Mo Willems
  • Vera Williams
  • Don & Audrey Wood 
  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • Jane Yolen 

Benefits of Choose-a-Book

As a result of reading 10 picture books by the same author, my students started to notice patterns. For example, they noticed that Leo Lionni uses an illustration technique called collage; that Tomie DePaola writes about his Irish and Italian families; that Patricia Polacco is inspired by her family’s stories from the “old country”. As they discovered these patterns, I was intentional about inviting students to borrow these authors’ technique by saying, “I wonder if we could try that?”

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