Choosing first grade reading books can sometimes be a challenging experience. Knowing your child's interests and being willing to spend some time browsing at the local library will help make the task easier.
Book List for First Graders
First grade is the age when the majority of children begin to read independently. You want to choose books that are challenging, but not so difficult that they seem impossible for your child to read on his own.Some of the classic books with great appeal for first graders include:
- Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
- The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
- Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
- Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
- The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
- Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey
- Arthur series by Marc Tolon Brown
- Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
For more ideas on first grade reading books your child might enjoy, LoveToKnow Children's Books recommends visiting the following helpful Web sites:
- Proactive Parent has an extensive listing of suggested reading materials for first grade students, broken down into reading level. There is also a list of books that first graders may enjoy having a parent or older sibling read aloud to them.
- Hedgehog Books, a resource created by teachers to help parents choose reading materials for their children, has many suggestions for first grade reading books.
- Books in the Classroom includes reviews of many books suitable for first grade readers.
Obviously, your child's teacher is another great resource for choosing age-appropriate reading materials. Ask for a list of what books your child will be reading in school, as well as suggestions for supplemental reading materials you can add to your home library.
First Grade Reading Skills
According to the U.S. Department of Education, key reading skills for first grade students include:
- Knows the parts of a book and understands their functions
- Recognizes and names all uppercase and lowercase letters
- Can blend and distinguish sounds
- Sounds out words
- Knows basic sight words
- Understands the purpose of punctuation and capitalization
- Reads aloud with accuracy and comprehension
Tips for Encouraging a Love of Reading
Encouraging a love of reading is one of the best things you can do for your child. Students who read well in the lower elementary grades will have a much easier time mastering the challenges of junior high, high school, and college level coursework.
To encourage your child's development of literacy skills, keep in mind the following helpful tips:
- Allow your child to choose reading materials that match his interests. Even if the subject matter isn't what you'd prefer, it's important that your child practice reading as much as possible.
- Set a good example. Let your child see you reading for pleasure and make going to the library to choose new books an activity that the whole family takes part in.
- Provide access to a dictionary so your child can look up unfamiliar words.
- Encourage your child to talk about what he is reading. Share some of your memories of your favorite books at that age.