Read-Aloud Books to Teach Word Recognition Skills

Bring your students' enthusiasm for books to a Readers Workshop. Use the pages of these favorite books to introduce skills all fluent readers must master.

Five Favorite Books to Teach Decoding and Word Recognition

1. The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky

Silly, rhyming poems with easily identified syllabic patterns.

2. The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken by Helen Lester

Lots of words with -ed endings and multiple synonyms for the word said.

3. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

Features any words with initial consonant blends.

4. Pete's a Pizza by William Steig

Simple text that is just right for identifying nouns.

5. Yoko by Rosemary Wells

A great book to use for reviewing skills such as short and long vowels, -est and -ed endings, words with blends, compound words, and words with plural ending -s or -e.

Read-Aloud Books to Teach Writing Skills

Try sharing a favorite book prior to using it as a springboard for a mini-lesson in writing. Read a book during read-aloud just for fun, and then ask students to listen to that same story from a writer's perspective to demonstrate how writing skills apply to the real world of words.

Five Favorite Books to Teach Writing Skills

1. If You Were a Writer by Joan Lowery Nixon

Will inspire young authors and provides excellent writers workshop vocabulary words.

2. Author: A True Story by Helen Lester

Great for introducing the writing process.

3. The Purple Coat by Amy Hest

A favorite book for introducing story leads.

4. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Filled with descriptive language, analogies, and other words that paint pictures.

5. Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells

A quick, humorous story for discussing how to write a complete story.

Based on ideas detailed in the books Literature Based Mini-Lessons to Teach Writing (1998) and Literature Based Mini-Lessons to Teach Decoding and Word Recognition (2000) by Susan Lunsford.

A Special Reserve of Read-Aloud Favorites

As effective at lowering blood pressure as a pet, a special reserve read-aloud is soothing when it's been one of those days! Read one of these titles to help students cope with the remaining half hour of school and turn a seemingly hopeless, unmanageable end of the day into a pleasant, peaceful time spent with a book.

Top Ten Special Reserve Read-Aloud Favorites

  1. The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
  2. Nana's Birthday by Amy Hest
  3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  4. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  5. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
  6. My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother by Patricia Polacco
  7. Doctor De Soto by William Steig
  8. Three Names by Patricia MacLachlan
  9. Something Big Has Been Here by Jack Prelutsky
  10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst