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Classic Read Aloud Picture Books for Elementary Teachers – 2024

Are you looking for classic read aloud picture books to share with your elementary students? This post shares popular children’s books that elementary teachers often use as read alouds. Take a peek below to learn more about these classic read aloud picture books that your students will love!

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5 Classic Read Aloud Picture Books

Below is a list of some of our favorite classic read aloud picture books. Check them out below!

1. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, two ducks. They are looking for a good place to make a nest and raise ducklings. After flying for a long time, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are too tired to keep going and land on an island in Boston’s Public Garden. They enjoy swimming in the water and eating the peanuts people throw from the swan boat. However, when they are almost run over by a bicycle, Mrs. Mallard decides they need someplace new. After flying around the city the land on an island in the river and start to make their nest. Soon after, their eggs hatch and Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are busy caring for their ducklings. When Mr. Mallard leaves to explore the river, Mrs. Mallard stays back and teaches the ducklings.

When it is time to start heading back to the Public Garden to meet Mr. Mallard, Mrs. Mallard teaches her ducklings to walk behind her in a line. They try and cross the street but there are too many cars! Thankfully a police officer comes to stop traffic and let the ducks cross. The family reunited in the pond and decides to live there.

Check out these Make Way for Ducklings lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

2. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

In The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, Ferdinand was a small bull who was different than all the other bulls. He preferred to sit quietly under a tree and smell the flowers. The other young bulls spend their days running, jumping and butting heads. Ferdinand was not interested in that. His mother worried that he was lonesome, but when she realized he was happy being alone, she let him be.

Check out these The Story of Ferdinand lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

3. Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus

Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus is about how Leo the Lion cannot yet read, draw, or write. He cannot eat neatly and he cannot speak. As his friends around him show signs of blooming, his dad begins to worry. His mom shares that they need to be patient, as Leo is a late bloomer. Then, one day, while no one was watching, Leo bloomed! He could read, write, adn draw. He could eat neatly and speak sentences. Join Leo and his family on a story that reminds us that everyone develops in their own time!

Check out these Leo the Late Bloomer lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

4. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton is set back in the 1930s amidst the end of the Great Depression. Mike Mulligan had a trusted steam shovel named Mary Anne. Together, they have dug out land for canals, mountains for highways, and cellars for skyscrapers. Over time, Mike sees that there is progress with newer and stronger machines, making Mary Anne almost obsolete. Mike finds one last chance to show the world how impressive Mary Anne is by digging a cellar in the town of Poppersville. Join Mike and his machine on an adventure of resilience, dedication, and hard work!

Check out these Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

5. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina is a timeless classic. The book tells the story of a small town peddler who sells caps. However, this peddler is not like other peddlers. He walks around town selling his caps stacked on his head. There are gray caps, red caps, blue caps, brown caps and even checkered caps.

One day, no one wants to buy caps from the peddler. Without money for lunch, he decides to take a walk in the country. After walking a while, he settles down under a tree for a nap, and his caps are still stacked on his head!

He wakes up to find that his caps are missing! He looks around only to look up into the tree, that’s where a group of monkeys are wearing his caps! He tells them to give them back but they don’t. He gets angry and stomps his feet, and the monkeys copy him! Finally, feeling frustrated the peddler throws his cap on the ground. The monkeys do the same! He is able to collect his caps and walk back into town.

Check out these Caps for Sale lessons and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging interactive read aloud lessons!

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of classic read aloud picture books helpful! They are part of our Starts With a Story collection. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

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