Being a lover of children's books, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to link up with Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera and her All-time Favorite Read-Alouds linky party.
I'm not even sure it would be possible for me to pick a favorite picture book read aloud so I'm going to have to go with chapter books instead. These are two that I have read to my second graders this year and they have been totally engrossed.
The Teddy Bear Tree by Barbara Dillon is one that was introduced to me in my first years of teaching. I have found that first and second graders really connect with this book. It's the story of a little girl named Bertine who plants a teddy bear's eye and ends up with a teddy bear tree and more teddy bears than she can handle. One activity that is always fun to do after reading the Teddy Bear Tree is to have the students imagine planting an object of their choice and having it grow into a tree. I've had students draw trees that grow money, jewels, candy and even paper.
This year was the first year that I read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to my second graders. Written by Kate DiCamillo, I think this book is especially great for the Third Culture Kids that I teach. It deals with the issue of repeated loss which is an integral part of the Third Culture Kid experience and learning to love again despite that loss. My students were so invested in the character of Edward Tulane that many afternoons they didn't even want school to end because they wanted to hear more. I'll definitely be reading this one again!
So there you go - two of my favorite chapter books to read aloud.