Raising the Bar through Read Aloud

When adults read aloud to their children, they model fluent reading, ask questions to help them think about the story and connect to it, and read at a level above what the child can read by themselves. This exposes children to a larger vocabulary, more complex sentences, and higher-level ideas. Even in the lazy days of summer, even when you know your child can read to herself, make the time to keep reading to your children. Few things we do with our children have greater benefit than reading aloud. That’s not to mention how rewarding it can be to spread out a blanket under a tree and enjoy a good book together.

Summer Book List for Children birth to 5Mom reading to infant

  • Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee
  • Pond Babies by Cathryn Falwell
  • Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
  • A Bird is a Bird by Lizzie Rockwell
  • What in the World? Numbers in Nature by Nancy Raines Day
  • Look! By Ted Lewin
  • Surrounded by Sea: Life on a New England Fishing Island by Gail Gibbons
  • Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
  • S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James and Lita Judge

Additional Resources

Reading Rockets Summer Outdoors Reading List
Making Connections: Building Comprehension
Explore the Great Outdoors with Your Child

Susan Bennett-Armistead, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Early Literacy at the University of Maine. Drawing on 20 years as a preschool teacher, parent educator, program administrator as well as a PhD with an emphasis in early literacy, she speaks nationally to parent groups and educators on the role that families can play in their children’s literacy learning. She has been the early literacy advisor for Raising Readers for five years. She is also the mother of a lot of kids!

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