We decided our first book would be about Albert Einstein: On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne.
This is a wonderful story about Einstein's childhood and the things he did before he was a "genius" in the eyes of the world.
The first thing the teacher, Ms. Greene, did was show the students how to create a book for note-taking over the several stories to be read. She used a similar method as the one demonstrated in the video, but also gave the students a beautiful piece of card stock to glue to the outside for their "cover."
While I read our first story, Ms. Greene modeled taking notes on interesting information from the book and then we had the students tell us what other notes they had chosen as interesting. The students also listed and discussed characteristic of Einstein and what made him stand out from others. Then we showed this video of Einstein (Albert Einstein Warns of Dangers in Nuclear Arms Race) and discussed how English was not his first language and even though he was very smart, he had difficulty with the language just like they sometimes do.
The second book we read was Sebastian: A Book About Bach by Jeanette Winter.
This book introduced the students to Bach and his entire life, starting with his relatives and ending with his death. We were all shocked to learn that he had 20 children with only one wife and that he was a dedicated family man and composer. We also listened to Yo Yo Ma play Bach's music.
We've got several more books lined up to read throughout this semester. The students, Ms. Greene, and I are all looking forward to more read-alouds!