As you start the school year, consider making half of the texts you read aloud to preK-Kinder (and even 1st grade) students informational texts. One new text I’d recommend is Step Gently Out by Frost & Lieder (2013). Frost’s lyrical text invites our youngest learners to slow down and watch and listen. Lieder’s photographs are worth sitting quietly and contemplating with students. Step Gently Out is an easy invitation to looking and listening to nature that surrounds us – but also to any of our everyday surroundings and it’s worth reading aloud to students multiple times. The Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten focus on students’ ability to observe and this book could launch and anchor a related science unit and even a literacy center where students can look through the book again and then observe a class terrarium or aquarium and draw their observations.
Another book that comes to mind for reading aloud to PreK-1 students to launch the school year – and that can be used in so many ways – is Green (Seeger, 2012) which I’ve reviewed in a previous blog. Again – this book lends itself to thinking about how we can look more closely at the world around us.
Other PreK-1 informational texts to read aloud because they –
- introduce science content
- begin gently to pull students into reading and learning from informational texts
- tap into what it means to “observe” and notice our surroundings
- have just enough content to hold students attention (as the kids develop stamina for sitting through longer, more complex texts read aloud).
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman (2011)
In the Tall, Tall Grass and other books by Denise Fleming
Truck by Donald Crews
I Read Signs and lots of other titles by Tana Hoban
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes and other titles by Ann Morris
Hope this helps. Would love suggestions for good informational texts to read aloud to preK-kinder at the beginning of the year!