HOW TO ORGANIZE READ ALOUD BOOKS in the CLASSROOM

Read alouds and mentor texts are so important for reading to elementary students! Take a look at how I organize these books using lists and categories like comprehension strategies, genres, and other classroom organization strategies.
Books! Glorious books! While we want our kids reading a variety of great literature to themselves, there are also books we hoard to use as read alouds and mentor texts. How do we keep these books separate but also accessible? Read below to learn how to organize read aloud books in your classroom.

This blog post will…

  • share tips and strategies for organizing and storing those titles that we like to read out loud to the class
  • recommend tools for organizing read alouds

Before we begin:


Tools for Organizing Read Alouds

  • Storage Tubs for Thematic Units: The picture books that go with my thematic units are stored with those thematic units. I print labels for the covers to signal that they are read alouds and don’t display them with the other thematic books until after I have read them to the class.
  • Magazine Files or Ice Cube Bins: This is effective if you have a smaller collection of books.
  • Tub: Store books in a plastic tub that are sorted with labeled card stock dividers.
  • Shelf: Dedicate a shelf to read alouds that are divided neatly with smaller containers. I have a collection of chapter books that I read each year (The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, Frindle, Muggie Maggie, James and the Giant Peach, and more). I store those in a basket from Dollar Tree on a shelf out of reach.
  • Dishpans: Mentor texts that I select to model specific writing strategies are housed together by the trait I use them to teach. I keep these in dishpans on a shelf out of reach. After I read the book I put it into circulation in the class library in a special basket labeled, “Mentor Texts.” Because they are viewed as “special,” they become favorites for the students to reread throughout the remainder of the year. Since they were selected because they are mentor texts, I love that the kids enjoy rereading them so often. At the end of the year, they all go back into their respective dishpans.
  • Filing Cabinets: I'm not a fan of using filing cabinets for their intended purpose of housing papers as they often get forgotten so I love that this cabinet has been repurposed to hold books.
  • Read Aloud Inventory: Keep a running inventory or list of titles of books you enjoy reading aloud to the class (either thematically, seasonally, or as mentor texts) and borrow them from the library as needed each year. This saves space and money. This list could be stored on a computer or iPad to save space.

GET THE EASY STEPS and TOOLS TO GET ORGANIZED:





Other Ideas to Consider

  • Clips: Using clips allows flexibility in labeling the baskets.
  • Color Code: Color code the bins.
  • Size Consideration: Find the perfect containers to fit your space.

















{sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 }

Read alouds and mentor texts are so important for reading to elementary students! Take a look at how I organize these books using lists and categories like comprehension strategies, genres, and other classroom organization strategies.
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