Read alouds expose children to stories that develop readers/writers, that instill hope, and that broaden their world. I use read alouds so that students know what it means to be fluent and lost in a story. I also use read alouds to share my passion and joy for reading.
During the today’s read aloud, the second graders sat comfortably on the table (only for read alouds) and were lost in the book. There were a few questions about the meaning of some words, about the absence of a father, and about the hard-heartedness of the sisters, but the book definitely captured the children.
After the story, Jessie said she would like to make a comment about the book. Jessie continued to say how some students “have a hard heart when they make comments about how easy it is to do some things because…because… those things are hard for me and this makes my heart sad.” She wished they wouldn’t make those comments because when that happens she becomes quiet.
I was thrilled that Jessie expressed herself and her feelings so clearly. I was thrilled that due to the events in the story, she was able to connect the story to her life. I was thrilled that a second grader who has difficulty reading comprehended and took a message from the book and applied it to her life. But, I was saddened because of pain she felt.
Each day as a reading specialist I am presented with a gift. The gift is something that is treasured and never forgotten. This gift from Jessie will remain with me and I will share her experience, her message with students every time I read “The Rough-Face Girl”.