Choosing the best first grade books for your child can be a challenge. Do you look for titles that interest them? Good pictures? Books they are able to read on their own?
There are many types of books available for first graders, and each brings its particular style and benefit for learning. Exposing kids to a variety of book types in these early years will help kids appreciate a range of books as they grow. Here are they most common types of first grade books you can expect to find.
Kids love rhythm and rhyme. Look for books with rhyming words, predictable language, or a "pulse" that invites kids to join in, such as these rhythmic 1st grade books where you'll find classic stories such as The House That Jack Built. These books are fun to read, and they help kids develop skills in phonemic awareness, phonics, and overall language.
Alphabet books are great for introducing kids to new vocabulary. Alphabet books these days can be quite sophisticated, using the ABC structure to teach words for everything from classic art, to insects, to superheroes.
You may be surprised to know that wordless books can help kids develop important reading skills, such as asking questions, noticing details, and telling stories. After exploring a few wordless books, it is an easy step to applying those same skills to other first grade books.
Look for books with engaging pictures that your kids are interested in. Get a mixture of fiction and nonfiction children's books. Read some of the text aloud; do the words have an easy flow? Picture cues are also important when kids are beginning to read; books with good illustrations that match the words on the page are best.
Be sure to check out our collection of great picture books for kids, or share some of your childhood favorites in these classic books for kids. Want to share a good laugh? These funny stories for kids are a guaranteed hit with the first grade crowd.
Once kids start reading on their own, you will also need to find easy readers that are written very simply, at a level your child can handle. There are several great collections of phonics books and easy to read books that make it easy for your child to read successfully on his own.
Once your child has progressed into the higher levels of the easy readers, start looking at
early chapter books. These
are often written with very simple vocabulary and are actually easier to read than many picture books. They are also great
confidence-builders and help defuse the myth that
chapter books are too hard.
Here's a general rule to gauge whether a book is right for your child's reading level: have her read one page out loud. For every word she stumbles over, have her hold up one finger. If all five fingers are up by the end of the page, it may be too hard. But use your own judgement; every rule has its exceptions, and a too-hard book can always be a read-aloud until your child's reading skills get a bit stronger.
What's the book your kids ask for over and over? The one that cracks you up, or makes you twinge in sympathy? Tell us about your really GREAT book. We want to know!
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