What is the Global Read Aloud?
About the Project
How does this work?
The project was created by me, Pernille Ripp, in 2010 with a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world. Now with many years under our belt and millions of connections made in more than 86 different countries, it is astounding to see the reach of this small idea.
The premise is simple; we pick a book to read aloud to our students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible. Each participant decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project are up to you. In the past, frequently used tools have been Twitter, Skype, email, regular mail, Kidblog, Write About, Padlet, and any other tools we can think of to make these connections. Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year.
How much does it cost?
The Global Read Aloud is free, it always has been, and always will be. It is also trademarked, which means no one has permission to use the name to sell products except for me.
What do I need to participate?
The book and time to read aloud. Access to technology also helps for the connection part.
How do I sign up?
As of 2021, you do not need to sign up. Just follow the blog or join the main Facebook group to receive the information being shared. You do not have to be on Facebook to be a part of the project but it is the main place people share ideas and make connections.
How are books chosen?
To see how books are chosen, please read this blog post
To see the contenders, past and present, please go here Contenders
Do I have to be a teacher to participate?
No, not at all, but you do want to read the book aloud to someone since that is the experience we are sharing. So maybe your grandchildren would like to be part of this or another group of kids. Please join us.
Do my students have to share?
Preferably yes, however, sometimes just reading other students’ ideas and thoughts can be a form of sharing. So if you feel uncomfortable sharing first, read the discussion and jump in when you are comfortable.
How old should my students be?
We have a picture book study for our youngest students and then other books to choose from. We have K through college participate starting in 2014. Whichever book you decide to participate in is truly up to you. You know your kids/students and whether the book is suitable for them. Don’t dismiss the project because the books may seem too easy, it is about the connections you make.
This is meant to make the world a little smaller, to open our eyes to the rest of the world and look at all of our shared experiences. How phenomenal for a child to know that the same book they are reading is being read in classrooms across the globe.
Is this really global?
Yes! Since its inception, we have had more than 4,000,000 students from more than 80 different countries participate!
I’m an Author and would like my book considered.
Please go here.
Before the project:
How do I get the books?
Since headquarters is just me and my ideas, there is no way for me to purchase the books for you. I am sorry. So please do get the books ordered on your own. To see this year’s books and order them, please check the blog.
How do I get connected?
You can find people in two places typically, Twitter using the hashtag #GRA+the year (Example for 2019 = #GRA19) or on Facebook. We have a main Facebook group where all updated and information is posted and then there is a group for each level of book.
You can join one or all of them and use it to share resources and share connections. They will not change every year, just like our main group, so they should provide you with a great place not just for GRA related things but for any type of global sharing you would like to do.
After you have joined your group and I have approved you (which I do on a weekly basis) there are two different ways; you post connection wanted post in your group, or you respond to one. If you post a connections wanted post, please make sure people have a way to get in touch with you such as email or Twitter handle. Once you have found the connections, please alert people that you have found them. Also, please reach out to all people that respond to your post, even if it is to say you have found someone already.
If you respond to connection wanted post, make sure you describe your classroom and give them a way to contact you.
What should I post in my connections wanted post?
It helps if you do age group, location, experience level, as well as what types of tools you feel comfortable using or would like to use. That way people can respond with similar dreams. You can post anything else that you think is helpful as well.
How many connections should I be looking for?
You decide. I like to have one solid connection for each of my classrooms and I like to have our ideas cemented before the project starts, that way I know for sure I am connected with someone. However, I also like to look at what else is going on during the project, so checking in on the Twitter hashtags, seeing what other people are sharing and such. Some people like to have several connections ready in case one doesn’t work out.
Should I read the book(s) beforehand?
Up to you. I like to read them to make sure I am choosing the right book for my students, and I like to think about the discussions/projects/connections we will have. But there is no rule.
During the Project:
Handouts for school or home:
The GRA FAQ handout: Meant for handing out to teachers and others that will participate in the project. Please go here.
The GRA Home handout: Meant to be sent home with students to explain what the Global Read Aloud is. Please go here.
What tools should I use to connect with others?
Again, up to you. Here is a list of great tools I have used in the past. You can also decide with your connection(s) to try something completely different. If you have an idea for a tool to use please share it with others, this is how the project becomes so awesome! If you are using Kidblog or something that requires others to go to your site to connect with you, then make sure your site is open to the public so others can view it and comment.
Are authors always involved?
No, not always. Every year, since Katherine Applegate chose to get involved, I reach out to the authors’ whose books are chosen and ask if they have time. Some do and some don’t. I am incredibly grateful to the authors that take the time to be a part of the project as it enriches the experience tenfold for participants, but I do not pick books based on that criterion alone. Sometimes incredible books are written by incredible authors that lead very busy lives, and that is okay too. What matters is that we have the amazing books to read aloud and share.
What technology can we use to connect?
Anything that you have access to. One of the strengths of the project is that you do not need to use a specific type of technology to be a part of it, in fact, you can even choose to not use technology and use regular mail to connect with someone. All that matters is that you connect with someone.
To see great ideas of what to do during the project, go here
How do I find someone to connect with?
Use Facebook or the hashtag on Twitter to find others, or any other way you choose.
While I do not generally facilitate connections, please contact me if you are having problems finding someone to connect with. I can usually help.
Where do we share?
Anywhere you want. We have our Twitter hashtag for sharing as well as our Facebook page, but people find they share best wherever they feel most comfortable.
Individual books will also have their own hashtags but those will not be created until the books have all been chosen.
What should we read when?
Weekly breakdowns are posted before the kick-off date so that everyone knows what to read up to. Don’t worry if you get behind (I do every year!). Just don’t read ahead.
Are there lesson plans?
No, however, many many people share ideas on the Facebook or on Twitter. I also have a Pinterest page where I try to share as much stuff as I can.
What are things you can do with your students?
The sky is the limit. I see people use Skype for discussion calls or to guest read aloud. Many use Padlet to share surveys, students work or other things they create. People use Kidblog to have students write about the books and then have others comment. People use Twitter to share projects and also to participate in a slowchat that will happen for some of the books. People use WriteABout to create writing communities. To see more about some tech tools, please go here.
How much should we do?
As much or as little as you want. You can share as much with the world as you feel comfortable doing or as little. Some choose to simply read the book aloud to their class knowing that they are part of something bigger without connecting with others, others choose to go as big as possible. Find your comfort zone in this and make it work for you.
Do I have to use technology?
No, you should connect in some ways. Technology makes that easier but you don’t have to use it if you can’t or do not want to.
Can I make shirts or other things for my students to show we participated?
Shirts and other merchandise are sold here. Before you create something for your own students, please reach out to me first, the name “Global Read Aloud” is trademarked.
How do I contact you?
Either through the contact form or email me at email@example.com
Are there other projects like the Global Read Aloud?
If you would like to do a spin-off project, please first experience the Global Read Aloud, and then just reach out.
After the project:
We finished the book, now what?
Hopefully, the connections will continue. Many, myself included, use the Facebook group throughout the year to find others to do projects with. I do not shut down the Facebook or Edmodo groups, nor do I lock them down. The Facebook community can be used for anything as well, there is even a GRA Alumni group if you want to join that. So please continue to use the space to do projects and share ideas.
Are you reading books for next year?
Yup! The minute books are selected for the year, I start my search for the next year’s amazing books. If you want to know more about the process, go here. If you are an author and want your book considered, please go here.
Which books have been chosen in the past?
To read more about the history of the GRA and the books that have been used, please go here.
Who is behind the Global Read Aloud:
In 2010, while listening to NPR, the idea of the Global Read Aloud began. Now with millions of connections made between more than 80 countries, the GRA keeps growing.
To get more information about me, go to my professional blog here under My Story
To contact me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org