All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.
Last week I wrote about read alouds in the primary and elementary classroom. If you missed it, you can find it here.
After I posted it, I realized that there was more I wanted to talk about. Specifically I wanted to look at the read aloud in the transitional classroom - in 2nd and 3rd grade. It's an exciting time - the kids are usually ready to listen to longer stories. They are becoming more independent with their own chapter book reading.
What I'm discussing today are the books we're choosing to read for the 2nd and 3rd grade classroom. We know we need to be models for our students. Many of our students have a hard time falling into chapter books, many of our students don't know what to read, and when we model and share books, we help students with reading engagement. When we read aloud the first book in a series, we give students so much background to the series that it makes it easier for young readers to stick to one. These younger students also have stamina limits. By reading aloud transitional chapter books, the length of time it takes (usually just over two weeks) allows students to track information over a period of time, but not so long that they forget details.
So what kind of books am I talking about? I'm looking at the transitional chapter book. These vary in length, but generally run from around 75 pages to 150 pages, give or take. The characters often change over the course of the book, usually the events of the plot - or the problem of the book - change the character. Secondary characters are important, but they do not usually cause the main character to change. The plots feel familiar to young readers, and while minor subplots may occur, it's the main plot that drives the story. Settings are often familiar and time periods stay more in the present time. If the setting does take place in the past, it is a more common time period (for example, in a castle).
Sometimes, the hardest part is finding titles to read. Here is a list of titles, going from shorter to longer, easiest to follow to a bit more complex. I hope you find some new ideas on this list. I have no doubt there are lots of books for all readers to fall into!
Charlie and Mouse series by Laurel Snyder
Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
Fergus and Zeke series by Kate Messner
King and Kayla series by Dori Hillestad Butler
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
Wilcox and Griswold Mystery series by Robin Newman
The Infamous Ratsos series by Kara LaReau
Captain Awesome series by Stan Kirby
Lulu series by Judith Viorst
Rider Woofson series by Walker Styles
The Fix-It Friends series by Nicole C. Kear
Puppy Pirates series by Erin Soderberg
The Dino Files series by Stacy McAnulty
The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey
Dory Fantasmagory series by Abby Hanlon
Bobby vs Girls series by Lisa Yee
Jada Jones series by Kelly Starling Lyons
Marty McGuire series by Kate Messner
Beatrice Zinker series by Shelley Johannes
Ellie Engineer series by Jackson Pierce
Weekends With Max series by Linda Urban
Jasmine Toguchi series by Debbi Michiko Florence
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
The Wish List series by Sarah Aronson
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan
The Quirks series by Erin Soderberg
Shelter Pet Squad series by Cynthia Lord
Lou Lou and Pea series by Jill Diamond
So many great books on this list! If you know of another book or series add it in the comments so we can add it to the list! I know readers will love hearing these stories and falling even more into reading. By supporting our transitional readers where they are at, they will love reading and find new books to read.
Do you work with readers who are starting their journey on the road to reading? Join Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy and me every Thursday as we explore books and ideas to help readers have a successful start to independent picture book and chapter book reading. If you blog or have a Goodreads page, please link up with us!