Memoirs of an Elf Read-Aloud

Our class read-aloud time has quickly become our favorite time of the day. My students can’t wait to see what our next story will be. Their love for reading is unfolding through each read-aloud. It is entertaining to hear their answers to the text dependent questions, especially when they are asked to say a phrase from the text as the character would say it. They are really starting to understand author’s craft and structure and it reflects in their own writing. I think their favorite part is when we “dig” into the illustrations and find the illustrator is often telling more of the story than the author.

Our first read-aloud for December was a new Scholastic favorite, Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian. Just showing the kids the cover of the book got them thrilled to see what was inside! After we read the story (which they loved!) we discussed the correct sequence as a class and used the countdown times from the book.

Once we figured out the correct sequence for the countdown times the students cut and pasted the events in the correct order. After they were finished I had them find a partner to retell the story with, using their countdown page. 

The second time we read through the book we focused on the craft and structure of the text by asking text dependent questions. We also focused on Santa Claus in the text. Throughout the story, the elf shares fun facts about Santa. We discussed all the things the elf said were Santa’s favorites and the students wrote them down.

Then, they thought about their own favorite things about Christmas and wrote about them. The students all really enjoyed this activity.

Finally, on the third read-aloud, I asked some text dependent questions that covered the Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Core Standards. Then we ended the read-aloud with a fun activity. Throughout the story, the elf takes “elfies” of himself so we drew a “selfie” of ourselves.

It still amazes me that the students love hearing the same story multiple times. They are really getting into reading the story for a different purpose each time. If you would like to try our 3-day read-aloud in your classroom, you can find it (and many others like it) in our shop store.

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