Recommended Read-Alouds (Grades 1-3)
© James T. Charnock 2016
As a former certified reading specialist and, now, volunteer, I am constantly looking for read-aloud picture books that excite or interestingly inform young students in grades one through three or four.
Many good books are not listed herein (386 are) for this activity because I have criteria which pertain to reading to whole classes, though students should also be introduced to books that are not limited to the follow criteria:
1. Large enough illustrations to share with a whole class from a distance.
2. A usual time limit of 10 minutes—though certain books take 15-20, including elaboration and student interaction.
3. In my active retirement, I volunteer at a public school library, and I know students want to be wowed, entranced, entertained, and/or moved when they experience story time. If one book is too short, I or a colleague will read another one.
The list has a key to foster some understanding of the book for a particular audience. You can acquire many of these books as used via Internet bookstores or your public library may have an inter-library loan system where you can borrow books that are delivered to you at the local library.
One point about quality: I often read 15 or so recommended books from Kirkus Reviews and similar resources and may only accept one for my read-aloud program. I also am reading the latest fiction and non-fiction books (year 2016, at this writing)—all involving hours of personal reading. Years ago I wrote a feature for several years for The Reading Teacher, advertising great books for grades 3-5; I hope to keep my good-book antennae out for reads that will wow youngsters in a read-aloud setting. There are more books listed, and a student-interactive book-sharing program I developed for classes, in my 2011 book The Creative Teacher: Activities for Language Arts (Grades 4 through 8 and Up).