Highlighting Our History: Colonial Times Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core
The Power and Rationale of Daily Read-Alouds
With the demands of the Common Core, thoughtful intentionality is essential when choosing your daily read-alouds. You will want to be reading a balanced mix of literature and informational text while building knowledge of particular topics. You want your students to think about what is in the text, and whenever possible, you want them to learn something about writing because of your reading. Picture books offer several advantages. They can generally be read in one sitting, and the visuals help to enhance the story or clarify information. Using picture books allows you to work on CCSS standards related to comprehension gained through written as well as visual cues. Because they are shorter in length it is also easy to revisit them when necessary and perhaps look at them through a different lens. Moreover, students love them!
You may or may not have access to the particular texts featured in this installment, but if the colonial period is or was part of your district or state curriculum, you are likely to have other similar books. Approach the texts you do have with the standards in mind. By reading widely yourself and by reading with the Common Core as a backdrop you will soon recognize texts that work well for Standards 1-3: Key Ideas and Details, and which ones can be used to highlight Standards 4-6: Craft and Structure. When you read aloud multiple texts on the same topic and keep track of student thinking on a matrix or T-charts, you are helping students to make connections, to compare and contrast, and to synthesize information, ideas, and themes, which is the work of Standards 7-9: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. Also, finally, by choosing rich texts that students would not necessarily choose to read on their own, you are nudging them toward Standard 10: Range of Reading and Complexity of Text.