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Best Read Aloud Books for First Graders
The best read aloud books for first graders capture their imaginations. They often love fantasy stories that have enough reality that they can identify with them. Preferably the chapters are somewhat short and the descriptions are rich but not too wordy. The characters should have some characteristic that young elementary children can identify with. Most of all, it needs to be a good story.
When you are choosing a book to read aloud to your first grader(s) spend a few minutes looking through the book.
- Read a few paragraphs out loud from different chapters. Do the words flow?
- Consider the story. Is it appropriate/interesting/entertaining?
- Can a first grader take something positive away from this book?
Allowing a child to draw or play quietly while a story is being read can actually help him to concentrate on the story. It is a great idea to give him paper and crayons and ask him to illustrate one of the scenes in the story as you read.
Finally, if you start reading the book and the children seem disinterested and don’t become interested after two or three chapters don’t be afraid to put it down and choose another book.
Some of the Best Read Aloud Books for First Graders
Mrs. PiggleWiggle is a very special lady who lives in a very special house. Her pirate husband built it upside down and hid treasure in it before he disappeared.
Mainly though, Mrs. PiggleWiggle loves children and they love her. She understands them. When some of the children that visit her begin to have discipline problems the parents come to Mrs. PiggleWiggle for help. The cures are not only effective they are comical and children will be laughing as each cure unfolds.
Once you have read a Mrs. PiggleWiggle book (and there are several) you will only have to ask a disobedient child if they think you should call Mrs. PiggleWiggle for a quick change in behavior.
Family Under the Bridge
This is the poignant story of a family that loses their home in Paris. It is told in a gentle, humorous manner, with no violence or situations that would be upsetting to small children, and yet it inspires compassion and understanding of homeless people.
It is Christmas time in Paris and an old hobo falls in with three fatherless children and their mother who have recently lost their home. The curmudgeon hobo becomes and unwilling grandfather and leads the children through the streets of Paris.
This is an excellent book to use with a study of France or to read around Christmastime.
The Twenty One Balloons
This is a wonderful story of a scientist who lands on the island of Krakatoa just before it explodes. Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. Sadly, he lands on Krakatoa instead. There he discovers a world of wealth, eccentricity and incredible inventions.
This is a good book to read along with a unit on flight or volcanoes. Winner of the 1948 Newbery Medal, it is still a book that children enjoy today.
The Little Riders
The Little Riders is the story of how a little girl protects some very important artifacts during the German occupation of Holland in World War II. This is great story to read during a study of World War II. The themes of courage and patriotism are integral to the story.
Ben and Me
Meet Ben Franklin through the eyes of a mouse that helps him with all of his inventions. In fact, if the truth were known, it was Amos the mouse, and not Ben Franklin that invented the amazing things that were attributed to this famous Colonial personality.
This is a great way to learn about Ben Franklin and Colonial America.
Miracles on Maple Hill
This is a sweet story about Marley, Joe, and their parents as they try to help Marley’s father readjust to civilian life after coming back from World War II. Marley’s mother feels that a change of living conditions would be best and moves the family to her Grandmother’s old home in the country. The story follows the family and their new friends for that magical year of healing.
This is a great story, especially for children who have parents in the military, or as part of a study of maple sugaring or country life.
Reading Aloud Develops Important Skills
When you read aloud to a child you help them develop important reading and vocabulary skills. Not only that but you are teaching them to listen, to concentrate, and to remember. All the time you are reading you are developing closeness, memories, and relationship…and these will last a lifetime.
The best read aloud books for first graders will capture their imaginations and give them a lifelong love of reading.