Our final day of Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day was once again filled with special memories.
We read Crankee Doodle with Meghan Nels and her students.
Matthew Winner and I got creative about how to read Open This Little Book with our students.
Cathy Potter and I had fun reading I’m Bored and letting our students show the many ways you can say “boring”.
Shawna Ford, Shannon Hyman, and I all found students to read parts of a reader’s theater of One Cool Friend. We loved hearing voices in 3 states reading the story.
Stacy Ford and I had a great time being Elephant and Piggie with our students as we read I’m a Frog.
Randie Groden and I had some impromptu skyping as I had a class cancel! Several 5th graders who were checking out books gathered around the projection area to meet her first graders and read Same, Same but Different. Sometimes the unexpected is fun!
We ended our WRAD week with a connections between Shannon Miller and Barbara Terracciano along with author, Tom Angleberger. He read aloud the part of Crankee in Crankee Doodle, and it was the perfect ending to our week.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t read aloud. Every day is read aloud day.
When I think of World Read Aloud Day, I think of connections.
Kate DiCamillo, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and 2-time Newbery winner, says “Stories Connect Us”. In Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, all of the characters are connected to one another through strands of yarn as the main character knits sweaters for everything and everyone in sight. In Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, we learn that we really are all connected in the world by common strands of life even if those strands might look a bit different based on our cultures, locations, and beliefs.
World Read Aloud Day is about all of these things. Even though we should read aloud every day, World Read Aloud Day raises our awareness of the importance of reading aloud. It reminds us that when we read aloud, we connect. When we read aloud, we expand our world. When we read aloud, we learn that the world really isn’t as big as it seems. We are all united through power of story and spoken word.
This year, our planning for World Read Aloud Day/Week began in December. My wonderful friend and collaborator, Shannon Miller, created a Google Doc for educators around the world to use as a space to share their schedules and ideas. The two of us shared the doc through blog posts, twitter, facebook, and conversations. Over 3 months later, the doc is filled with conversations that each tell a story of a connection between multiple groups of students. When you look at this single document, you know that students, teachers, teacher librarians, and families around the world are being impacted by powerful experiences of hearing stories read aloud, participating in conversations about books, and building connections to new friends around the world.
- engaged in 36 skype sessions
- made 50 connections in these sessions
- met new friends in 22 states and 2 other countries
Along the way, we built a Google Earth Tour using Google’s tour builder. This tool allowed us to quickly add pins to a world map, add photographs and videos, and write a summary of each skype session and what we loved and learned. I love how at the end of the week, we instantly have documentation that allows us to remember, reflect, and celebrate the fun that we have had during this week.
Today, I received several thank you letters from students. Organizing this many Skype sessions is exhausting. I won’t lie about that, but the rewards that come from the hard work make up for all of the time I spent organizing this week. Receiving these letters reminded me why I advocate for World Read Aloud Day and why I believe in the power of connecting with one another through story. Thank you Litworld for creating such an amazing world-wide event.