You may think upper elementary students have no interest in listening to stories being read aloud, but you are wrong! A favorite activity in my fourth grade classroom was listening to a great chapter book. In this blog post I will be sharing some of the best upper elementary read aloud chapter books (in my opinion).
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My Favorite BooksEscaping the Giant Wave
This book is recommended for grades 3-7. It is about a thirteen year old boy who vacations to the Oregon coast with his family. While he is supposed to be enjoying his vacation disaster strikes! An earthquake hits the area which spurs a tsunami. Read about how Kyle and his sister try to escape the giant wave and fight for survival.Holes (Holes Series)
Stanley Yelnats is cursed. In fact, his whole family is cursed! Because of the curse Stanley is spending his days digging holes at Camp Green Lake, but what are they digging for? Find out in this award winning book for grades 5-6.The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret Series, Book 1)
This is the first book in The Secret Series and if you subscribe to my newsletter you have heard me talk about this one before. It is an amazingly funny mystery book that had my fourth graders hooked. It is perfect for grades 3-7. Cass and Max-Ernest are the protagonists who are trying to get to the bottom of the disappearance of a magician.The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
This book is perfect for grades 2-5 but be warned I did cry when reading it aloud to my students. Edward Tulane is the prized possession of a little girl named Abilene until one day he wasn’t. The story follows Edward on his miraculous journey of becoming “unlost.”The Doll People
This book is for grades 3-7 and is part of a series. It is about Annabelle, a doll who is more than a hundred years old. Annabelle has an aunt who went missing long ago and when a new doll family comes to town they might be able to help solve the mystery.
Why Read Aloud to Your Upper Elementary Students?
Reading aloud to elementary students is an excellent use of time. It is a model of good reading skills. When teachers read they are reading with “sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension (CCSS RF.4.4).” We are modeling proper expression, reading rate, and we can stop to model good reading habits such as self questioning. Processing, vocabulary, and comprehension skills are all improved when a student listens to a read aloud. Reading aloud sets a good example for our students. We can share our love of reading with our students by sharing stories with them. In addition our students love it!
Where Will I Find the Time?
There is always time to read to your students. As mentioned above it is excellent modeling for them to hear fluent reading. It helps with comprehension and you can link it to the standards. One of the fourth grade Common Core Standards (RL.4.7) says “Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.” Many of the texts shared above have illustrations that can be used as visual presentations for the text. In addition, there is a film versions of Holes which you can have your students watch after reading the story.
Reading to your students can be picked up at any time throughout the day. I would read a chapter right after lunch and recess to refocus my students and again at dismissal if we finished a few minutes early. It is amazing how much reading you can squeeze in and how quickly your students will move when you tell them, “if you get ready for the next activity I can read a few pages.” I hope you find some of my picks for the best upper elementary read aloud chapter books helpful. Add your tried and true chapter books to this list in the comments below!