Four Great Books that Encourage Participation
Many children's picture books contain rhyming text, a familiar storyline or precise picture clues that will encourage children to participate in the reading of the story during circle time. Here is a list of a few books that do just that:
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss - Many preschoolers have heard this story before, making class participation almost guaranteed. Encourage children to join in on the repeating lines "I do not like them, Sam I Am. I do not like green eggs and ham!" by pausing dramatically before these words are written in the book, and pointing the words when you and the children read them together.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - Another familiar story book about a caterpillar who eats his way through several different foods before forming a chrysalis and later becoming a butterfly. Encourage children to read along with you while the caterpillar is eating through the fruits and vegetables, joining in on the repeating line "But he was still hungry". Also, this book contains beautiful illustrations that can serve as picture clues. Encourage children to look at the pictures and guess what the words might say. For example, the page spread where the caterpillar eats nothing but sweets and junk food. Most children will be able to guess what the words say simply by looking at the order of the foods on that page spread.
In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming - This book contains rhyming text as well as illustrations that serve as picture clues. Encourage the children to provide the name of the animal or bug on each page by pausing, pointing to the word and showing the illustration. It may also be a good idea to repeat the word the children guess and pointing to the text of that word on the page while reading. For example, the first animal you encounter in this book is a caterpillar. Read to children "Crunch, munch, ____________ lunch". When children put together the picture clues and fill in the word "caterpillar", repeat back to them, while pointing to the text on the page "Caterpillars, that's right. Good reading!"
Quick as a Cricket by Audrey and Don Wood - This book also contains picture clues and rhyming text. With just one line per page, this book is an excellent choice for a read aloud that encourages a lot of participation. The text on each page follows the exact same pattern, making it very easy for children to join in with the reading. The illustrations on each page contain a boy showing an emotion as well as an animal. Children can join in on both the emotion word in the text, as well as the animal word simply by decoding the illustrations. For example, "I'm as sad as a basset, I'm as happy as a lark." While reading this book, add another layer to the story by asking children to act out the emotions, such as nice, mean, happy and sad, using their faces.