Tips & Resources

Read aloud Tips

The following read aloud tips guarantee a standing ovation!

  1. Once you are done, engage the audience:
    • Talk about the BIG IDEAS in the story. (i.e. friendship, responsibility, family, courage)
    • Discuss the characters in the story. (i.e. How do you think a character felt when this happened? Why do you think a character behaved a certain way? What would you do if you were a certain character in the book?)
  2. Before you arrive, preview the book. Be aware of words, concepts or situation that may require explanation. Be prepared to clear up any confusing parts with the students.
  3. Once you arrive, but before you start:
    • Remind children of the rules for being good listeners. Encourage them to listen by setting a task: “Listen for the name of the sister in the story”; “Let’s see what prank the girl plays on her brother.”
    • Read the title, and the names of the author(s) and illustrator(s). Talk about the illustrations on the front and back cover.
    • Create a connection with the book. Explain to students why you selected the book, i.e. it’s about farm animals and you grew up on a farm, your grandpa read it to you every summer when you went to visit, you are afraid of spiders and if you read about them you will not be so afraid of them.
  4. Once you start:
    • Read with expression. Use inflection and change your voice.
    • Give different characters different voices.
    • Read at a pace that is not too fast or too slow.
    • Pause periodically to:
      • Look at the illustrations.
      • Re-tell what has happened so far in the story.
      • Encourage the audience to predict what might happen next.
      • Share what you are envisioning as you read the story. (i.e. you remember your pet pig)
  5. Before you leave the classroom, ask the teacher if they have any constructive feedback and/or reading recommendations that complement the curriculum.

Tips for choosing books

So many books to choose! How do you pick the ultimate book for a read aloud???

Consider the following for an engaging and exciting classroom read:

  • Rich, colorful language and illustrations
  • Strong characters
  • Creative plot
  • Relevant message (friendship, bullying, celebration, jealousy)
  • Age appropriate


Here are a few BookPALS favorites to get you started:

Peanut Butter & Cupcake                                             by Terry Border                (grades K-2)

How to Babysit a Grandma                                          by Jean Reagan                 (grades K-2)

Dinosaur Dream                                                             by Dennis Nolan               (grades K-2)

Arnie the Donut                                                              by Laurie Keller                 (grades K-3)

Diva and the Flea                                                            by Mo Willems                  (grades K-2)

The Whisper                                                                     by Pamela Zagarenski    (grades K-2)

The Day the Crayons Came Home                               by Drew Daywalt              (grades K-2)

Max’s Words                                                                    by Kate Banks                    (grades K-2)

The Cat Can’t Stay                                                           by Thad Krasnesky          (grades K-3)

Flotsam                                                                             by David Wiesner             (grades K-3)

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers              by Mordicai Gerstein      (grades K-3)

More help is available:

  1. Read Aloud America provides book lists of the best read aloud books since 2010. Books are categorized by grade and are current for today’s students.
  2. Visit your local children’s library and ask for assistance.
  3. Ask the classroom teacher for recommendations that complement curriculum.
  4. Google “Great Books To Read Aloud” for lots of book lists by grade and genre