1st Grade Reading List

Instructor: Cara Rogers
Reading is one of the most useful skills a child can learn, and it can also be one of the most enjoyable. Take a look at some books for first graders that not only teach valuable lessons, but are also sure to inspire your students to love reading.

Building a Fun First Grade Reading List

As an instructor, it's vital that you teach your students important life skills like reading and writing, but it's equally imperative to get them excited about learning these skills. One great way to engage students with learning to read is to find books that interest them and suit their reading levels. Watch this video to review the stages of reading development across grades and check out the list below to discover fun books containing life lessons for first graders.

1. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Written in 1939 as the first book in a series of many, Madeline has become a popular classic for young readers. This Caldecott Medal winner revolves around one small, misfit girl who gets into all sorts of trouble; however, it's not Madeline's rebellious nature that makes her a marvelous protagonist for kids, but rather her bravery and kind heart that keeps us all returning to her adventurous tales.

2. Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry G. Allard

First published in 1977, Miss Nelson Is Missing! is an award-winning tale about a classroom of students who have terrible behavior. Their fiery misbehavior leaves them with a new teacher, Miss Viola Swamp, whose frightening demeanor causes the students to regret their mistreatment of dear Miss Nelson. This choice is sure to win over your classroom.

3. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

A Bad Case of Stripes, first published in 1998, presents Camilla Cream's dilemma between making friends and being herself. For most of us, this struggle continues daily throughout our lives, so it's important for young readers to understand the necessity of self-acceptance and the value of true friendship.

4. Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

In Danny and the Dinosaur, a delightful boy visits a museum to find his favorite creature, a dinosaur. From there begins a series of adventures that revolve around Danny and his new dinosaur pal. This story for beginning-level readers opens students' eyes to new situations and the characteristics of loyal friendship.

5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The classic children's poet, Shel Silverstein, offers first graders some food for thought in his heart-wrenching story, The Giving Tree. The story follows a tree who cares so much for a boy that she is willing to give up anything to provide for him. This tale teaches strong character traits including love, giving, and sharing.

Developing Your Students' Reading Skills

As you begin to teach reading in your classroom, remember to cater to your students as individuals as well as a whole. Consider their reading levels, interests, and backgrounds. If you're looking for additional tips, check out these courses on teaching strategies for reading skills and comprehension.

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