Joining readers around the world, students at some Shawnee Mission elementary schools have been taking part in the Global Read Aloud.
As part of this program, Brookwood and Mill Creek Elementary educators are reading aloud selected books throughout the school and have taught lessons inspired by the book selection. Watch the video here.
Emily Mihelic, Brookwood librarian, enrolled students in kindergarten through sixth grade in the read aloud.
“Reading aloud is a wonderful method of story-telling that is engaging for all ages,” Mihelic said.
All second and third grade classes at Brookwood are reading, “A Boy Called Bat.” As participants, they get to read the book at the same pace with other classes in their school, across the country, and across the world.
“I like that we are all reading the same book because it is a mystery, and there are no spoilers because no one can read ahead,” Ila Pommuru, third-grader said.
The story is about a boy named Bat whose veterinarian mother brings home an infant skunk to foster for a month. Bat, a third-grader who has autism, hopes to prove he’s responsible enough to keep the skunk, Thor, as a pet.
As part of the program, the students completed STEM challenges related to book. One week they designed an animal carrier and the next week they created a food dispenser.
Since the main theme of the book is pet care, during the final week of the challenge the students adopted a pet rock. They named their pet and designed a safe and entertaining environment. Finally, they brought their pet to life with an app that allows students to create an animated image and record a narrative in their own voice.
“My pet rock’s name is Pepperoni, because he is triangle-shaped, like a piece of pizza,” second-grader, Cullen Flanagan said.
Jessica Leichter, second-grade teacher, read the final chapters to her class who clapped enthusiastically at the conclusion.
“I am a huge fan of the Global Read Aloud program because it’s important that children hear a fluent reader,” Leichter said. Another benefit of reading aloud is everyone sharing the same story and then sharing conversations about a variety of topics including pet care and autism.
Students at Mill Creek also have been taking part in the Global Read Aloud. In the school library, with guidance from librarian Melissa Amos, students have written letters to students reading the same books. As part of this opportunity, some classes took part book discussions via video chat with students from Canada who were reading the same book aloud.