Chapter reading is one of our treasured moments of the day. We bring to life the imagination, the world, and the past. The anticipation of ‘what happens next’ stirs excitement every day. Children listen and think. They ask questions. Ask your child, “At chapter reading where do you make the pictures?” You will hear your child say, “In your head.”
When we finish a good book and then start a new one, emotions run high and low. The end of a good book is so satisfying and pleasant, yet…it is over. That is the wonderful roller coaster of reading. And, with each chapter book we read, we ride that roller coaster again and again.
We have just finished Little House on the Prairie, and it was thrilling; from Jack the dog getting lost in the rising creek, to building a house, to fever and watermelons, and Indians, and fire on the prairie. If your child wants to continue the series the next one, Farmer Boy is about Laura’s husband when he was a little boy. I recommend the following one, On the Banks of Plum Creek, which begins their next journey after the prairie.
The constant favorite chapter reading book is Charlotte’s Web. I hear this from former students all the time, most recently from a high school senior. I couldn’t agree more.
These are the chapter books we have read this year. Good books are meant to be read over and over again. We encourage you to revisit these wonderful books with your child:
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Doctor Dolittle’s Journey by Hugh Lofting
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The fundamental constant that gives children the tools to succeed in school is language. The more words that children hear, the better they will do in school. Reading aloud to children is far more than an enjoyable experience. It increases their language development! In kindergarten through grade four, the primary source of instruction is oral. The more words that a child has heard, the better s/he will understand the instruction, and the better s/he will perform in school, in all subjects. Therefore, we will always campaign to read aloud.
A wonderful guide to book recommendations and to understanding the importance of reading aloud is the million-copy bestseller book, The Read-Aloud Handbook. I have used the book since my children were little. The author, Jim Trelease, visited my classroom, the Aqua Room, and Groton Community School. We are featured in the new seventh edition of the book.
P.S. Classroom teachers ride the roller coaster of chapter reading, too. We are just as involved and attached as the children. I think that’s wonderful! Jackson sobbed when Jack the dog was lost, and I did, too. Together we had to leave the classroom and read aloud the next chapter, where Jack finds his way home. We had a great talk about dogs, and life in the eyes of a four-year-old. I will always campaign for reading aloud, because I know first-hand the difference it makes.