Reading aloud is one of my favorite ways to build classroom community, expand my students’ imaginations, model fluent reading. On Monday, I decided to welcome my class back from break by introducing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was one of my favorite novels as a child. This made me so excited to share the story with them! The story is about a boy named Charlie Bucket who comes from a poor family and has his life turned upside down when he wins a golden ticket to explore Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Although this a fun story, it has limited pictures, which means that the students’ listening skills are being challenged greatly, and I have to be expressive and dramatic while reading to bring the story and characters to life.
I have established the routine that every day after lunch, students will meet me on the mat and I will read a chapter or two of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out loud, occasionally pausing to take comments or answer questions in order to aid their understanding. After reading, I will pose a question about what was just read to the class, which they respond to in their journals. For example, one of the questions I asked the class this week was, “Which invention of Mr. Wonka is your favorite? Why?” The students loved talking and writing about their favorite inventions, such as gum that never loses its taste, candy balloons, and chocolate bird eggs.
I am eager to continue with the read-aloud and see what amazing ideas my students have about the story!