Friday, November 16, 2012

Two Of The Best Scary Read-Alouds For Elementary

It's Diwali! I mean it's Tihar! So let's share our favorite Halloween read-alouds.

It took me a while to figure out how exactly I wanted to share these stories. I finally decided on SoundCloud as the best way. Listening to the two sound files I realized that
a) I probably should have rehearsed reading the stories a couple of times, and
b) They need some music and sound effects. Maybe I'll do that next Halloween.

So anyway here is a belated post showcasing my two favorite Halloween stories that are appropriate for all ages.

1) "Simon and the Magic Catfish" by Nat Whitman
August House specializes in fantastic read alouds. Their books are great! My favorite book that they publish might be Greek Myths, Western Style. It forces you to tell greek mythology in a southern accent. It's brilliant. And then there's this book:
Not all of the stories are great read alouds, but some are fabulous. And "Simon and the Magic Catfish" is the best non-threatening one. "Johnny and the Dead Man's Liver" is great, but it's a bit scary, and I wouldn't read it to kids under 9 years old.
What makes "Simon and the Magic Catfish" so great to read aloud is that it has a chorus. And any story that has a chorus automatically allows the audience to participate in the read aloud. In this story, the chorus is: 
Cuz the catfish want to go home. Yeah yeah yeah.
Cuz the catfish want to go home. Yeah yeah yeah.

I don't know how to make the 3 yeahs sound natural, so I cut it down to two. It's such a fun read when the audience is part of this story. Unfortunately I don't have a recording of me doing it with the elementary school, although I did read it this year to the whole school and it was a lot of fun. But here is me reading "Simon and the Magic Catfish" without an audience.

2) "Wylie and the Hairy Man"
This story comes from another fun compilation:

What makes "Wylie and the Hairy Man" so nice is the dialogue. And like Greek Myths, Western Style, the language almost forces the narrator to talk with a southern accent. I read this story for the whole elementary last year. I don't have that take, so here is me reading it without an audience.

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