Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Great Class Read Aloud: There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom

There's a Boy in the Girls' BathroomAt first glance, There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar doesn't look like the kind of book you would read aloud to your class. It comes across (at least to me) as more silly than anything else. But though there is certainly humor in the book, There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom is so much more and it is one of my very favorite read alouds for grades 2-4.

The story is focused around Bradley Chalkers, a boy no one likes, not even the teachers and it isn't hard to see why. Describing him as unpleasant is an understatement. Further, he is a failure in school, not even attempting to complete his assignments. His teacher has pretty much given up. Fortunately, a young counselor at his school is not going to give up on him. With her subtle guidance, Bradley slowly changes his life. It isn't easy, but by the end of the book, he is not only starting to succeed in school (I totally tear up whenever I get to the part when he gets his first gold star) but is also making friends. Getting invited to his first birthday party since he was a little kid is a monumental acheivement.

What I love about this book is that Bradley's transition is believable. Further, because much of the story is from his POV, we as the reader develop empathy and we are truly on his side as he starts to change for the better. This would be a great book to start the year off with or to read if you a class that is having trouble getting along.

If you are looking for a Teaching Pack for this book, You can find a great one at Taking Grades.

Have you read this book? What do you think? Do you have a different favorite read aloud?

9 comments:

Mrs. Shepherd said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book. I have this book in my class library, but have never read it. I am going to add it to my list.

Rachel Lynette said...

I'm so glad you are going to check it out. I would love to hear what you think!

Lisa @ The Writing Garden said...

Thanks for the great suggestion! I teach Special Needs children and many of them have that same attitude - that they won't even try! I am going to start my year with this as I have many returning students!

Rachel Lynette said...

Yippee! It is a fun book. I hope your students enjoy it.

Erin @ Small Types said...

This was one of my favorite read alouds when I was teaching! I forgot all about it!

Matthew in London said...

You may also be interested in this free unit plan for the book. It's a British resource, so you might want to skip the lesson about US English vocabulary!

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100612050234/http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/downloader/d0d52173eddff29585c4055705fbe79a.pdf

kensign said...

I read this book to my class this past year and they loved it! I will definitely read this book every year to my class.

Meg said...

OOOH...haven't read this one in YEARS! There are so many books, so little time! :) We are finishing "Savvy"--a long one--so maybe it would be fun to do this one. Thanks for the reminder!

Meg
www.fourthgradestudio.blogspot.com

Tina Snow said...

This is one of my absolute favorite read alouds. I am moving back to third grade (from kindergarten) - and I can't wait to share this book again. I usually have to let a student finish it for me since I turn into mush! :0)

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