Using very short children's stories is a great way to get kids who aren't good at reading, to read. By offering something that is digestible to a new reader, you are giving them the chance for success, which helps build confidence for struggling readers. Imagine a child's delight at being able to say that they finished their first book.
Very Short Childrens Stories
The best place to find very short children's stories is online. Often times, they are associated with websites that offer additional reading skills practice to go with the stories, which of course is an added bonus if you're working with a struggling reader.
Baby Bird Productions
Baby Bird Productions has a list of links to some very short children's stories. These stories are so short, that they are contained on one page each. While the vocabulary is definitely not at the emergent reader level, neither are the books difficult. These would be particularly helpful with children who have shorter than average attention spans - or just for some plain fun!
While Tumblebooks cannot claim the market on very short stories, this online digital collection has enough for anyone looking for super short children's stories. Most of the books have online activities or can be read online to the student - a definite bonus for busy teachers. The downside of course is that this is a subscription site and so you'll need your administration's approval before subscribing. (If you are a parent, the subscription is expensive and probably not worth it at $399 per year.)
Fables: Very Short Stories with Substance
If you're looking for something beyond the typical rhymes of an emergent reader story book, but still want to keep it short - perhaps looking towards some fables is a good way to go.
Children's Book of Virtues
The Children's Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett is a collection of very short stories, each of which of course, lays bear a particular moral or character trait. The stories are traditional and come from a variety of cultures, making this book a treasure to own.
American Tall Tales
Considered an essential part of literature for cultural literacy American Tall Tales offers American style folklore with the likes of Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed. Most of the stories are considered very short and if you're looking for something for classroom use, this is a great read aloud when you have five minutes to spare between transitions.
Other Notable Short Story Books
Each of these books has especially short stories, and is great if you want to pick a few more for your bookshelf either at home or in the classroom:
- You'll Read to Me, I'll Read to You - One of the best things about this book is that it's designed to get your child to read back to you! It's great for extra reading practice.
- Short! A Book of Very Short Stories - Another collection of amusing and funny short stories - this is a great book geared towards the older, more reluctant reader.
- Animals Tales - Is another one of those high interest short story books that's geared towards kids older than first grade.
Using Short Stories
Short stories make a great addition to your read aloud repertoire. You can use them to read at bedtime or to help build the confidence of a reluctant reader.