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4 March Read Alouds for Upper Elementary

As we enter the month of March with spring just around the corner, we have the chance to highlight and celebrate women and their many achievements and contributions to society.

We also can’t forget St. Patrick’s Day which is a student favorite!

Below you will find recommended March read alouds for upper elementary with activity suggestions to go along with each book! 

Do you teach K-2? See your March read-aloud recommendations here!

March read alouds for upper elementary

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that Amazon sends me a little pocket change, at no cost to you, if you purchase through one of these links. This helps keep my site running!)

Shirley Chisholm is a Verb  by Veronica Chambers; illustrated by Rachelle Baker

This book tells the story of Shirley Chilsolm and how she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress.

Each page in the book highlights a verb to describe the actions that Shirley took along her journey to become a congresswoman.

Verbs such as speak, graduate, organize, improve, listen, represent, campaign, and create help describe how Shirley worked to make important changes for those whom she represented. 

Activity Suggestion:

Have students make a list of Shirley’s accomplishments as the story is read and then discuss as a class or in small groups why her accomplishments were important. An alternative grammar connection would be to have students make a list of all of the verbs highlighted in the story and use them to write new sentences about their personal dreams or aspirations.

Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott 

Tim O’Toole and his wife are very poor and barely have a penny to their name.

When things get really bad, Tim heads out to find a job to earn some wages and encounters the wee folk. Tim is sure his luck will change because it is well known that anyone who sees the wee folk in the daylight can demand their treasure.

The wee folk first give Tim a golden goose and instruct him to take it home without telling a soul.

On his way home, Tim can’t help but boast about his golden goose to the McGoon family who offer him a place to stay. But once he makes it back home to his wife the goose won’t lay any golden eggs.

Tim heads back to the wee folk and this time they give him a magical tablecloth. Once again they tell Tim to head straight home and not to tell a soul about his fortune. On his way home, Tim stays with the McGoons again and he can’t help but boast about his magical tablecloth.

By the time he gets home to his wife, the tablecloth has no magic to be seen. On his final trip to see the wee folk, Tim finally follows their directions and receives what he wished for.  

Activity Suggestion:

Use a characterization map (like this one) and have students pick one of the characters from the book (the McGoons, Tim O’Toole, or Tim’s wife) to make a “final verdit” about their chosen character.

That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

In this story St. Patrick’s Day story, three leprechauns set out to put gold at the end of the rainbow (because that’s what leprechauns do). As they walk, Ari, Boo, and Col keep reminding themselves that there can be no mischief along the way because a storm is coming and they have a job to do. Despite their constant reminders, the leprechauns can’t help but get into mischief (because that’s also what leprechauns do). They paint Pansy the cow’s hooves red, tie Old Jamie’s long-john legs together, and play a trick on Miss Maud Murphy. 

Activity Suggestion:

While reading the story aloud, have students make a list of the mischievous acts done by the leprechauns. After reading, have them come up with a few more prank ideas that could have been played by the leprechauns.  Have them then pick a favorite and use it to create their own leprechaun story.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley 

I Dissent tells the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how she became the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice. From the time she was young, Ruth dissented or disagreed with many ideals that she found unfair and unjust (e.g. how people treated others because of the color of their skin or how women were thought to be lesser than men).

Despite many unfair advantages to women, Ruth worked very hard and went to law school to become a lawyer and then went on to become a judge.

Along the way she fought for women’s rights and worked to create a more fair and equitable society. 

Activity Suggestion:

As you read, have students make a list of the different cases that Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented as a Supreme Court Justice. After reading, talk through some of the cases mentioned in the book and have students discuss whether they agree or disagree with RBG’s dissents. Older students can also visit the Supreme Court website and research more.

Additional books to consider for Women’s History Month:

Teacher tip: This post had many activity suggestions. Once you have the books, get a sticky note and write down the activity and stick it on the inside cover of the book. Any time you do the read aloud, you can remember the easy no-prep activity!

This post was written by my friend Erienne Jones. She is a former school librarian turned entrepreneur who continues to immerse herself in the world of books!

Looking for a fun activity for the month of March? Check out this St. Patrick’s Day Comprehension Quest!

St. Patrick's Day Nonfiction Passages and Reading Comprehension
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