1st Grade Read Alouds

The summer before my son started first grade, I hatched a plan.  I scoured book lists and my local library to come up with a list of read alouds that would help my son be able to listen to chapter books read aloud.  For years I had attempted to read aloud books to him with limited success.  His mind was quick to wander.

I checked out so many books from the library and carefully chose and ranked the list seen below.  I started with books with pictures and a little writing since that is where my son had success.  I then gradually moved to other books with more and more writing on the page.   I used picture books and chapter books together.  The first chapter books we used were picture-heavy.

My plan worked.  By the end of the school year my son was able to listen to books read aloud without difficulty.  As the years passed, his listening skills improved so much that it became one of his strengths!

As I look back on that year, I celebrate his success.  But I also celebrate that time we spent together on the couch reading and enjoying many excellent books.  In all our years homeschooling, that was my favorite read aloud year.

Mama Panya’s Pancakes

Tom Thumb

Henry’s Freedom Box

Little Red Riding Hood

A Chair for My Mother

Shoemaker and the Elves

The Story of Babar

Babar the King

The Princess and the Pea

Harold and the Purple Crayon

The Fisherman and His Wife

The Giving Tree

The Snow Queen

Kali And the Rat Snake

The Sleeping Beauty


The Wild Swans

How I Learned Geography

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Little House

The Little Match Girl

The Tale of Three Trees

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

The Ugly Duckling

The Children We Remember

The Nightingale

The Velveteen Rabbit

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters


The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

Blueberries for Sal

Make Way for Ducklings

Ox-Cart Man

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Very Last First Time

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The Fir Tree

The Reluctant Dragon

Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

The Story of Ferdinand

Doctor De Soto

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom


A Giraffe and a Half


Day of Ahmed’s Secret

The Monkey and the Crocodile

The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash

Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina

The Bee Tree

Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury

The Polar Express

Katie Morag’s Island Stories

The Selfish Giant

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot


Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears


Here are the chapter books we used.  We did them along with the picture books.  The first ones on the list have the most pictures.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret


Now We Are Six

American Tall Tales

Tomi Ungerer’s Heidi: The Classic Novel

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

James and the Giant Peach

A Collection of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories

A Bear Called Paddington

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