Friday, August 9, 2013

My Favorite Second Grade Read-Alouds

I've spent most of my teaching career in second and third grade. One of my favorite things to do each day is to read aloud chapter books to my students. I want to share a few of my very favorite second grade read-alouds with you. 

I always like to start the school year off with:

Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne

This is the first book in the Magic Tree House series and it really captures my students' attention right away. I pretty much have every Magic Tree House book in my classroom library and a few sets for reading groups. My students love them!

Many of them are just starting to read chapter books in second grade, and I think Magic Tree House books are a great place to start. The author is really consistent with her development of  Jack and Annie (the main characters). These characters are great for comparing and contrasting and making personal connections.

The next book I like to read is:
The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron

This book is so funny! Each chapter is a stand-alone story, but the whole book still flows together nicely. There's a lot of humor in this book with situations that kids can relate to. I especially love the father's character.

This book is realistic fiction, so it's great to compare to Dinosaurs Before Dark, which is fantasy. Not only that, in this book there are two brothers. Their relationship can be compared to the brother/sister relationship of Jack and Annie. 

One of my all-time favorites is:
The Puppy Sister by S.E. Hinton

I love this book so much! It's not being published right now, but there are a bazillion copies available for resale on Amazon. Cheap. Buy it. You won't regret it!

This story is told from the puppy's point-of-view. She doesn't realize that she's a dog at first. When she does find out, she decides that if she has to grow up, she might as well grow up to be a human...and she does! I'm a softie. I ALWAYS tear up when I read the Christmas morning chapter. I have to bite the inside of my cheek to keep reading. The relationship between the puppy/girl and her "brother" is a major focus and one that many students can relate to.

I read this next book toward the end of second grade or at the beginning of third grade:
Martin's Mice by Dick King Smith

It's just so good! Martin is a farm kitten who isn't like the other cats. He thinks mice are cute and he can't stand the idea of eating them. However, he is a cat. He has instincts. One day he accidentally catches a mouse and decides to keep it as a "pet". 

Every year my students beg me to read more of this story when I finish a chapter. It's definitely a higher-level book than the others with more challenging vocabulary, so that's why I read it at the end of second grade.

I like to have hardback copies of most of my read-alouds. I also buy several paperback copies for my classroom library because some student really like to read along with me. When those run out, students check copies out from the school library and some even have their parents buy their own copies!

I hope you have enjoyed hearing about some of my favorite read-alouds for second grade. Maybe you have discovered a book or two to share with your students this year. Stay tuned for my favorite third grade books.

What are some of your favorite read-alouds?



  1. Hi Lisa!

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I just became your newest follower, and I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Check out my blog for instructions!


    Forever in Fifth Grade

  2. Thank you so much, Stephanie! I am honored! I'll check out your blog and get things going for the Liebster Award this weekend. Woo Hoo!!