The fifth grade at Advent is super excited about participating in the Global Read Aloud Project during the month of October. The project was created in 2010 with a simple goal in mind: one book has the power to connect the world. Global Read Aloud has grown to make a truly global connection with more than 1,000,000 students having participated.  During a set 6-week period, teachers pick a book to read aloud to their students and then try to make as many global connections as possible with other classrooms around the world.  All teachers decide how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some schools choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible.  There are official tools that can be used, such as Skype, Twitter, WriteAbout or Edmodo, but teachers may also choose tools that make the most sense to them.

Here at Advent, we are reading Pax, by Sara Pennypackera novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit (a baby fox).  Then, one day Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He sets out on a journey alone to find find his fox, despite the ongoing war.  He relies on love, loyalty, grief, and perseverance to be reunited with Pax.

As we read along with over 800,000 other students, we will take this same journey with Peter.  Our class will use Google Docs to discuss it with a group of 4th graders in a suburban public school in central New Jersey.  In addition, we have been using Padlet to share our thoughts about the novel with kids as far away as Hawaii, British Columbia, Caymen Islands, and Ontario.  Our classroom discussion of the novel has become truly global. At the end of our reading, Advent students will have discussed complex themes, such as grief, the effects of war, friendship, sacrifice, devotion, and endurance with students across the country. The true power of a book comes from its ability to speak to all its readers, regardless of background, experiences, gender, or age.  #GlobalReadAloud

Shannon Cabraja