First Grade
Ready, Set, READ!


Pre-Emergent Readers
  • Read books with rhyming word patterns. Books with repetition, rhymes and patterns can help children hear the sounds within words. This skill is called phonemic awareness. Nursery rhymes help prepare children for the transition from hearing sounds to reading them.
  • Read concept books that emphasize the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes or math skills. These books will help with specific concepts, but also encourage book knowledge and enjoyment. Read the book, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” or “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” Encourage your child to explore those topics while enjoying the repetition and rhythm of the story.
  • Sing songs, read rhyming books, or say silly tongue twisters. These help kids comprehend the unique sounds in words.
  • Help your child pick books that are not too difficult. The aim is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences. A book that’s perfect for your child is called a “Just Right Book.” It holds their interest while helping your child become a successful reader.

Emergent Readers
  • Ask questions as you read with your first grader to check for and encourage comprehension and retelling. Discuss who, what, where, when, why and how questions. Ask questions about characters, pot, key components or places.
  • Write a classic story but create different alternative endings. Add detail and illustrate the story. Changing a story helps sparks imagination, creativity and writing skills.
  • As you read a book with your child, follow the text with your finger. This action will show her how a sentence progresses across the page. This will teach your child concepts of print; where to start reading on the page, left to right, return sweep.
  • Reading starts with recognizable signs, words and pictures. Read everything you see such as street signs, movie posters, store signs, billboards and food containers. This helps children see that reading is an integral part of everyday life. Bring a few of your child's favorite books everywhere you go, such as doctor's appointments, long car trips, the grocery store, just name a few. This shows children they can read for pleasure in many environments.

Early Fluent Readers
  • Have your child select his/her books to read, any genre as long as its developmentally appropriate. This will encourage your child to become independent, as well as find a topic of reading that interests him/her. Indulge her taste for books about princesses or even favorite characters such as Star Wars or Elephant and Piggie. Children who like to read will continue to improve their skills and will broaden their reading tastes.
  • Read with expression (using different tone of voice), emphasizing and exaggerating question marks, exclamation marks, commas, etc. This will help your child understand how punctuation affects reading, as well as how stories can change in tone and mood.
  • Easy readers often use several different strategies to predict a word, often using pictures to confirm predictions. It’s important to allow time when reading for risk-taking; to sound out words, predicting and confirming words that make sense while keeping the meaning and comprehension in mind.

Fluent Easy Readers
  • Check out a new genre of books like a graphic novel (comic style) to capture the attention of a fluent reader. Spice it up with adventure and drama and you’ll have a hit that captures everybody’s attention. Fun and engaging graphics are accentuated with effective text bubbles to tell this tales of adventure, fun, and excitement.
  • Encourage your child to read longer books. Encourage your child to read lengthier stories such as books in a series because they use more in-depth comprehension strategies; the shared characters, settings, and events support their reading development. At this stage, children will develop strategies to figure out most words, but continue to need help with understanding increasingly more difficult text.
  • Expose your child to other reading materials such as non-fiction books and magazines. Non-Fiction or informational texts provide a new set of vocabulary, and skills for readers. It allows your child to learn about a particular topic and learn words associated with that specific event or book.

For more suggestions and activities on Raising a Reader, follow our Grow Up Reading™ Board on Pinterest

Library Director:  Clara Nalli Bohrer    |    Youth Services Coordinator:  Jill Bickford    |    Early Childhood Specialist:  Emily Vickers

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