Are you looking for the best 1st grade read alouds? Look no further! I have compiled a list of the top 10 read alouds suggested by teachers like you. One of these children’s books are sure to capture the imagination of your young readers.
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Magic Tree House Series
The Magic Tree House book series by Mary Pope Osborne is a favorite among teachers and students. According to Scholastic, the books are written for grades 2-3 which makes them a perfect 1st grade read aloud.
Students will love to hear all about the adventures of Jack and Annie as they travel through the Magic Tree House to places around the world in this 38 book historical fiction series. Take adventures to Africa, Greenland, and Texas as Jack and Annie learn about important historical events and figures.
As a kid, I loved reading about the adventures of Ramona Quimby. This eight book series has now become a favorite of both teachers and students. Perfect as a read aloud, this series of eight books has also been made into a movie called Ramona and Beezus.
Ramona is a very relatable character for students that feel a little different from everyone and just don’t quite fit in with the idea of “normal.” Ramona is a quirky little girl with a great imagination who has a tendency to get in trouble for her mishaps.
Lulu and the Brontosaurus
Lulu is a bratty girl used to getting her own way in this funny chapter book. Lulu doesn’t get the brontosaurus she wants for her birthday and heads off into the forest to find one. Throughout the story there is a catchy tune students will love saying with you. This makes it a great read aloud for your first graders.
Judith Vorst won’t disappoint and even offers several surprise endings in a choose your own adventure style! This story is told in first person with the narrator often injecting him or herself into the story with their own opinion. Lulu and the Brontosaurus is a unique story that is sure to keep your first graders entertained.
Adventures of Pippi Longstocking
The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren is a classic children's book that has been beloved by generations. Pippi is a spunky and independent young girl who lives without parents and just her monkey and horse in a quirky old house. The story is full of adventure, humor, and heart, and is a great choice for early readers who are just starting to explore chapter books.
Pippi’s great adventures continue in a series of three books: Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Goes on Board, and Pippi in the South Seas all three which are available in one volume called The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. As always, I recommend reading the book before you share it with your class to make sure you feel it is appropriate.
Snot Stew by Bill Wallace
Next, we have Snot Stew by Bill Wallace. This book is a silly and gross tale about a boy who accidentally sneezes into his stew and turns it into a strange and magical concoction. The story is sure to get some laughs from your students, and it's a good choice for reluctant readers who might be more interested in books that are a little bit silly.
Snot Stew is told from the point of view of two abandoned kittens. Another student favorite, Snot Stew is a quick and easy read for your first graders. Bill Wallace is an author known for tackling difficult issues such as bullying and disabilities in a way that is relatable to young children. How far will Kikki’s brother Toby go before he really gets in trouble?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
If you’re looking for a fun and imaginative story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is a great choice. The book follows the adventures of a young boy named Charlie Bucket, who lives poorly in a small house with his family. Charlie wins a tour of the chocolate factory from the famous Willy Wonka by finding a coveted golden ticket in a chocolate bar. When Charlie takes the tour he encounters many strange events that are sure to keep your students wanting to hear more.
This timeless book has a movie featuring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and another movie, All About Wonka, is in the works to be released this year (December 2023). The newest movie will show us how Willy Wonka brought the Oompa Loompas to work at his chocolate factory. After reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to your first graders, this could make an excellent writing assignment. How do you think Willy Wonka found the Oompa Loompas?
James and the Giant Peach
I remember one of my elementary teachers reading the class James and the Giant Peach and I hung on every word. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl is a classic children's book that follows the adventure of James, a young boy who escapes his miserable life by sailing on a giant peach with a group of friendly insects.
Dahl's vivid imagination, witty language, and imaginative characters make this book fun to read aloud to your students. It's a story of friendship, courage, and hope, and it teaches valuable lessons about perseverance and kindness. This book is a must-read for any first grade teacher looking to engage and inspire their students.
Heartwood Hotel by Kallie George is another great book for young readers. It's a charming and heartwarming story about a young mouse named Mona who discovers a magical hotel where animals can stay and rest. The story is full of friendship, adventure, and heart, and is a great choice for students who love animals and nature.
Because of Winn Dixie
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is a touching and emotional story about a young girl named Opal who adopts a scruffy dog named Winn Dixie and the adventures they have together in their small town. The story is full of themes of friendship, family, and forgiveness, and is a great choice for young readers who are looking for a heartwarming and relatable story. Because of Winn Dixie is another of the read aloud favorites that has a movie you could watch with your students afterwards (assuming it meets the criteria for showing a movie at your school).
Mercy Watson Series
Finally, we have the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo. These books are about a lovable pig named Mercy Watson and the adventures she has with her owners, Mr. and Mrs. Watson. The stories are full of humor and heart, and are a great choice for young readers who are just starting to explore chapter books. Read the first in the series of six books to get your students wanting to read the rest on their own.
Overall, these books are all great choices for first grade classroom read alouds. They are full of imagination, heart, and humor, and are sure to capture the attention and imaginations of your young readers. Happy reading!
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