Friday, October 14, 2016

Top Ten Books for Shared Reading Time

I have blogged about shared reading before and I can’t help but head into this school year, excited to make shared reading time even better than last year.
shared reading books
I love shared reading because it brings joy to the classroom. Students are having fun while reading! We can begin shared reading by singing songs and reading charts. The warm up songs and poems can be added to student's book buckets. Some teachers have binders in which they can easily add the song as well. Some classrooms create small little books from the songs during interactive writing. Whatever you do, keep it simple.

I know one reason a teacher may be hesitant about shared reading is access to books.
When I do think of shared reading, I think of big books and we all know that those big books cost lots of money.  Although using big books is ideal, teachers can bring shared reading to their classrooms with little books too. If you have an Elmo you can enlarge the book on the screen.

The following is a list of books that I think are great to use for shared reading 
for the following reasons: 

They are popular with teachers so many classrooms have them
Students often seek these books during the school year because they are appealing and are of high interest. They lend themselves beautifully to book innovations. There are so many opportunities to create your own class version during interactive writing.

1. Brown Bear Brown Bear What do You See? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr., I think every kindergarten teacher knows this book so it’s at the top of the list. I love that this is a timeless book, it never gets old.

2. Pete the Cat I love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin Art by James Dean. Kids love Pete. Here we have Pete the cat going on an adventure stumbling into trouble and persevering. What I love about this book is the opportunity to teach sight words and  color words.

3. Who Stole the Cookies? by Judith Moffatt  The teachers in my building always write these words into a song chart. Why not use the book during shared reading first. In this version, there are some animals that steal the cookies. Eventually the pattern changes, which will provide some great opportunities for problem-solving tricky words and teaching about rhymes. One teacher in my building makes wonderful innovations. She often teaches her kids, Who Stole the Pumpkin From the Pumpkin Patch; soon the kids start to make up different versions.

4. You Can Do it! by Betsy Lewin  “Can I do it?” Wonders little crocodile when he and his friend see a sign on a tree that says, Big Race Sunday. Immediately a BIG crocodile says, NO YOU CAN’T in a much smaller voice (visible by the font size) the crocodile says, yes I can.  The story continues with the crocodile training with his best friend on how to win the race.  If your classroom studies illustrations they will quickly notice a few strategies used in this book. I love the use of speech bubbles and font size throughout the text. I think most importantly this book sends the message that you can do anything when you work hard and believe in yourself. This is a simple yet powerful book; add this to your growth mindset.

5. I Went Walking by Sue Williams. This is a pattern story that students will pretty quickly read along with you. In this story, a child is walking and sees different animals on their walk. The text says I went walking. What did I see?  I saw a black cat looking at me.  The boy sees a black cat, then a brown horse, then a red cow and so on. Students love to guess what animal will be next based on the clues in the illustrations.

6. Let’s Go Visiting by Sue Williams. Let’s go Visiting is the sequel to I Went Walking. Beautiful illustrations and repetitive text will make this enjoyable for young readers. Similar to I Went Walking there is a pattern text but this is a story Let’s Go Visiting brings in baby farm animals ready to play. Students could easily talk about the similarities and differences in each text.

7. It looked like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw. After hearing the first few pages of this story,  children will eagerly chime in. The pattern in this story says, Sometimes it looked like a _______ but it wasn’t a _________. Students love to guess the different shapes on each page. You can easily make your own version of spilled milk.

8. Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson. This jazzy story begins Tiptoe fast, tiptoe slow. Say hello to Tiptoe Joe. This story will become a sure favorite during shared reading time.  Its rhyme and repetition will make it easy and enjoyable for children to read along. Tiptoe Joe the bear bumps into many animals on a forest adventure. Where will he bring the animals and what will they see? Students will love the surprise ending.

9. We’re Going On a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger.  This is the perfect book to read in the fall.  Students are already familiar with going on a bear hunt which makes this a somewhat familiar tale. In this version, students are going on a leaf hunt. The text repeats, We're going on a leaf hunt. We're going right away. Let’s find colorful leaves. It’s a wonderful day. Each page has a different encounter in the fall and in the forest. Students will love the sound words and actions you can add to the story.

10. Hey, Tabby Cat! by Phyllis Root.  I LOVE all of the books from the Brand New Readers series. I think all of these books are great for shared reading time. I love the beautiful colored illustrations and how each story is shorter than the average book only 8 pages long. These funny stories beg to be read again and again. I think they are pretty affordable for a leveled text. If you go on the company website they do have most books leveled.

One of my goals this year is to make shared reading the best it can be. If you have a book that could be added to this list, let me know!

Joyfully reading books with little kids,


  1. I am so glad you are blogging again!! I've missed your wonderful ideas! I use many of the books you listed too. I also used The Chick and the Duckling by Mirra Ginsburg last year. The kids loved the story and there is a lot to study in the pictures.

    1. My kid love I Went Walking. I read the first several chapters aloud together, and after lights-out he used a flashlight and read 6 more chapters on his own. He devoured the next several books and is waiting on the last book to arrive from Mixbook now. I’m already trying to plan ahead for when he finishes it within 2-3 days. I wish there were more than 6!

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  3. I had a great refreshing memory from foundation stage. The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle is one of my students favorite book .

  4. Peanut Butter Peanut Butter is a big book which the students enjoyed because it was it had rhythm and repeated verses. The book also taught sequence.

  5. Brown bear is an awesome book for little ones and it's an easy read for them.

  6. This is a good selection of books my son is one he loves brown bear and reading to the kids is so much fun and this selection helps.

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