Comprehension Read Alouds

The Hands Down Greatest Books Ever for Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies!

I’m always getting new ideas of books to use for teaching various comprehension strategies, but again and again I fall back on a few favorites.  I don’t know if they really are the best, but I know that every time I use these books in the classroom we end up having the most amazing discussions and I end up feeling like a rock star teacher!  Something about these books draws kids in and gets them thinking.

You can click on the book covers below to magically be transported to Amazon if you want to read more about any of the books.  If you don’t already own them – purchase them immediately!  (Or check them out from the library…)  But get them, read them, and I hope you love them as much as I do!

Character Traits & Relationships

The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume & Willy and Hugh by Anthony Browne


The Pain & the Great One is also amazing for point of view and thinking about different perspectives.  I love having the kids describe the brother from the sister’s point of view and vice versa.  They always have tons of connections to this story.  And Willy & Hugh is such a sweet, funny story that has this amazing message about friendship and how differences can lead to a stronger bond.  The kids are great at coming up with the traits that each character admires in the other.

Asking Questions 

The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman & The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg


Whoa!  When I first read The Wolves in the Walls I immediately read it again.  It’s such an odd tale!  I still don’t know if I understand the message in this book, but every time I read it to kids, they come up with these amazing questions and make a whole new meaning from the story.  It’s just spooky enough to get kids hooked, but not scary enough to give them nightmares.  And The Stranger – Chris Van Allsburg.  What more do I need to say?  Any book by Allsburg will have kids thinking and asking questions into the next day!

Visualizing & Sensory Details

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen & The Night Tree by Eve Bunting & C’mon, Rain! by Karen Hesse

These are also the 3 best ever books for teaching personal narrative writing!!!  In my humble opinion.  Talk about zooming into a small moment!  Today, I read Come On, Rain! to my 3rd graders.  We used the sensory images to help take us into the story and the kids were popping up out of their spots dying to share how they visualized the scenes!  It was pure magic!
Inferring & Drawing Conclusions
Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka & Thundercake by Patricia Polacco & Louie by Ezra Jack Keats


Yo! Yes? is told through pictures and requires students to use very subtle clues to infer what’s happening.  But by using their personal connections, kids can make sense of the story.  Realistically, anything by Patricia Polacco will be amazing and require lots of deep thinking.  And anything by Keats will have layers of meaning beyond what’s right on the page.  But those two are my favorites…

Sorry, I get a little excited when I talk about my favorite books… But these are my new classics and I think every kid should hear/read them at some point in their schooling.  I’d love to hear your favorites for teaching different strategies, too.  Or what you think of these amazing books.

Stay calm and teach on.

4 thoughts on “Comprehension Read Alouds

  1. Hoots and Hollers

    Hello! So happy to have found your blog! I linked to it from one of my recent followers… Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful texts. Many I already have, and a couple I will now have to get my hands on. You should consider linking one of these up over at Collaboration Cuties for their mentor text linky… :0)

    Sarah @ Hoots N’ Hollers

  2. educationalfun

    I enjoy reading out to my son all the time therefore will be sure to grab one. Alongside that, I like reading to him material that I get from this site that has me going back for more every so often. Filled with learning resources that I can’t find anywhere else it has been my helping hand in schooling my Jamie. I find it easy to use and full of fresh ideas for use on someone as young as he is. (He’s only 3). All in all he is coming along well with reading and trying to do it on his own.

    Daniele Wren