Let’s talk reading lists! And I mean REAL reading lists. Books that your kiddo is expected to read. I feel like all of the reading lists I find, especially for the lower elementary years, are for read alouds. Now, read alouds are great! They are necessary. But, I need a go-to list of books for my kids to read themselves, too. Enter, my first grade reading list.
I’ve compiled a list of books that we know and love. They are all inexpensive, and most of them you can find at your local library. Something I’m adding is an accompanying activity for EACH and EVERY one of the books on this list!
Most of the activities are crafts because…well, we love crafts! Even though this list is for first graders, I have no doubt my fifth grader will want in on the crafts! Most of the activities are also free. The ones that aren’t are only a few dollars. Because the cheaper the better, am I right?
So, let’s dig in, shall we?
The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat is such a cute beginning reader! Who doesn’t love fat cats? To go with this book is an inexpensive Mega Pack that includes flash cards (to play memory with), a board game, tracing pages, and more.
Hop on Pop is a fan favorite. My kids love it because it reminds them of hopping on their own pop! To go with this book is a super cute side walk chalk game that also works on rhyming.
Put Me in the Zoo is simple and full of colorful polka dots! Keep those polka dots going with an adorable paper plate craft.
A Fly Went By is another cute rhyming book. Pair it with this fly swatter craft (clean fly swatters only!) for a super fun time!
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I love this book! Here’s a creative fish bowl craft to go with it.
Fox in Socks is the best tongue twister! Made up of age appropriate words, you can still get your tongue in a knot. I have fond memories of my mom and I reading this together and seeing who can go the longest without our tongues getting twisted. Here is a Fox in Socks activity pack, and also a paper bag puppet template.
A Cow in the House. What a silly idea! Here is an adorable cow corner bookmark craft to have a cow in your house (or your book), too.
Richard Scarry’s Cake Soup is such a fun and silly book. Make some of your very own cake to go with it (but hopefully yours will turn out as actual cake…)
The Chick That Wouldn’t Hatch. Find out what happens to the sixth egg that just wouldn’t hatch. And then make this paper plate craft that DOES hatch!
There is a Bird on Your Head! is just one of the Elephant and Piggie books you can enjoy. You can make your own bird nest to put on your head, too!
Storms by National Geographic Kids is a great intro to severe weather. Pair it with both this thunder storm art and rain cloud science experiment and you’ve just done reading, science, and art for the day!
Danny the Dinosaur. Bring up dinosaurs in my house and my kids go bonkers. You can use this lesson to introduce fiction and non-fiction to your kids, as well as this dinosaur hat (because we love crafts!)
Morris the Moose is pretty much the “original” reader! I’m pretty sure I read it when I was little. Make your own Morris the Moose craft after you read.
Little Bear is a classic with four short stories inside of it. It’s charm still lives on. Create these darling little bears along with this darling little book.
Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragons is totally a selfish pick on my part since my first grader LOVES dragons. He’s going to be thrilled to read this, just like his big brother! Here are some comprehension questions and also a dragon coloring page.
How to use this reading list
This list can be used throughout the entire school year. If you have an eager reader, they can read the same book every day of the week to work on their reading speed.
If you have a child who needs to take it slow, you can move at whatever pace they need and finish the books as they’re able (one page a day, a few pages, a day…whatever works).
Is your child somewhere in the middle? This is where we are, and I plan to take a week to read each book for the shorter books, and spread the longer ones out over a few weeks.
Have a GREAT year reading these fun books and working on those amazing reading skills! Do you have any books recommendations to add? Drop them in the comments!