Friday, March 15, 2013

Rescheduled World Read Aloud Day 2013

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We had a snow day on March 6th when the rest of world was celebrating reading aloud with LitWorld (I know I still spent lots of time reading that day, though, and I dare say, my students did, too!).  Authors, teachers, children,and students around the world talked about literacy and read their favorite books aloud.  Parents of my students told me their children prayed that school wouldn't be canceled (for the first time ever) because they knew we had some wonderful festivities planned. I loved hearing that!   In spite of the delay, we were still able to reschedule everything, and we had a wonderful day, just a week late.  First, you may need a little background on LitWorld and World Read Aloud Day.  Here are some inspiring and thoughtful videos to show you what it is all about:

Are you inspired?  Now, on to our day!!  I had invited parents to come in, share what reading aloud means to them, and read to us from picture books that meant something to their families.
 Lauren's mom brought in Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon by Karen Viola, illustrated by Chi Chung.  Her family loves the design of the book, and we loved the voices Lauren's mom used!  She talked about what a reader Lauren is and how much she loves books.  It was also interesting to hear some of Lauren's mom's history as a reader.


 Caleb's mom brought in A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein and shared a little about what reading means in their family.  We were very impressed that she could say the tongue twister rhymes, each page building on itself throughout the book.  The kids loved it!

Great picture of the four of them:
In between my first and second classes, we were honored with a Skype visit from nonfiction author Tanya Lee Stone.  She was so gracious to reschedule her time for us.  I'm very grateful because I would have had some disappointed kids on my hands if she couldn't have Skyped!  They were really excited about seeing her!  We read several of her books to get ready:
Almost Astronauts cover
 Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers

 Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell
Tanya Lee Stone was so much fun to talk with!  We loved meeting her dog, Barney, who followed her from room to room while she walked with her laptop through the house to her desk computer.  He then settled in on a favorite chair behind her.  So cute!  Unfortunately, you'll see the sun streaming through the window in the room we were using, and we couldn't get the blinds to close tight enough!  Oh well.  We still enjoyed every minute (Thank you, Mrs. Bowman, for your room and projector/Promethean Board)!  She talked about researching, her writing process, topic selection, reading and writing nonfiction, etc.  Then she generously answered lots of questions the students prepared.
I loved what she had to say about nonfiction:
The kids wrote her thank you notes, and I picked out a few lines from them to share:
"I've never had the chance to Skype an author.  I'm interested in history like you are.  It's just so cool!  History might be the most important thing one day.  In fact, it's already one of the most important things." - Reece
"It was my first time Skyping, and it made it more special to Skype with an author like you!" - Blake
"Your dog, Barney, is adorable!  And, by the way, I know what you mean when you say he follows you throughout the house because I have a puppy who is 8 months old, and he acts like a shadow.  Literally." - Lauren
"I loved Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? because it inspired me to do anything no matter what stands in your way." - Annie
"Courage Has No Color was probably really hard to write if it took ten years." - Your Reader, Rishi
"One day when I'm older I want to be an author.  You will definitely be one of my inspirations."
- Gabriella
"It was really cool the way Elizabeth (Blackwell) kept fighting even when people told her it was impossible.  You are by far my favorite author.  By the way, I think Barney is super cute!" - Emma
"I now will admire the Triple Nickles forever.  Your work is just fantastic." - Neily
Stone's books stand for themselves, but the personal touch of a Skype session will leave an indelible mark with those kids.  She took time to talk to them and answer their questions.  They will never forget that.  She made some forever fans!
In my second class, I had a parent come in and surprise her daughter who didn't think she'd be able to come in because she's a teacher, but she was able to fit it in while her kids were at specials!  Emma's mom brought A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. 
We laughed about how many books Emma likes to have around her (reminds me of myself)!
Emma's mom talked to the kids about the theme of A Bad Case of StripesBe yourself!  Don't be afraid of what other people will think!

Jackson's mom brought in two books:  Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (which was all tattered from use!) and Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss.  We loved that she brought in Jackson's little sister, too!  She was so good and enjoyed listening to all the read alouds.  If you listen closely in the videos, you can hear her giggling.
We heard how much Jackson has always loved reading:
As you can hear, I was very excited about Goodnight, Moon (and so were some other kids).   I used to read it to my girls when they were babies.

Wow!  What an exciting and fun day!  I just love the community that reading creates.  I pray that everyone across the world will be exposed to the power of a written story.  Thank you, LitWorld, for initiating the day, and thank you to the authors that inspire us to share their stories, and thank you especially to my students and their parents for coming together to celebrate reading!  Oh, the places you'll go, kids, because of all the people who love you...and READING!


  1. Wow! What an impressive event! Congratulations on your read aloud celebration!

    Read Aloud Dad

    1. Thank you! I enjoyed visiting your blog!
      - Holly