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Selecting the right stories to correlate with your thematic units can be overwhelming. There are so many book choices to choose from. Use these suggestions as a starting point for choosing great theme books or read alouds for a Preschool or toddler classroom.
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Read Aloud Series to Engage Young Learners
Choosing a book series is a great way to encourage a love of reading with a toddler or Pre K student. These books will get your kids excited about characters, settings and problems in stories. Also, as there are several books in these series, the toddler or Pre-K student will keep reading similar stories. This will increase their knowledge about book format, and the style of the author. You can even speak to students about the character. Ask questions: What is Curious George like? What do we expect him to do? Where is Corduroy in this book? You can even create a thematic unit all about a book series. Design a bulletin board about the characters you have "met" through books. Some great series to try are:
- Curious George
- Olivia (lesson plan included)
You can also choose different books all written by the same author to correlate with an Author Study. A few suggestions of authors to begin with would be:
- Dr Seuss
- Eric Carle
- Laura Numeroff
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Examples of Popular Books
Some popular Pre-K thematic units in preschool are family, pets, and plants. Here are some book titles to go along with each of these units:
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco is a great way to discuss how every family looks different. It is also the perfect way to introduce the idea that just because someone is not related to you does not mean that they are not family. A nice activity after reading this book would be to have students draw a picture of who is in their family. Let them include people who they consider family - not just the people they live with at home. Other great titles to finish out your unit are My Family by Debbie Bailey, Mog's Family of Cats by Judith Kerr, and Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.
Try The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini. Many preschoolers will be able to relate to the main character in this book. A great activity would be to ask your students to write about and draw a picture of their perfect pet. Other books to go along with this unit are Birthday Pet by Ellen Javernick, Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats, and Jack of All Tails by Kim E. Norman.
How a Seed Grows by Helene J Jordan is nice to use as an introduction to a unit about plants. A fun activity to do after reading this book would be to plant seeds and talk about what they need to grow based on what was in the book. A few other books to read during your unit about plants are A Tree is a Plant by Clyde Robert Bulla, Jack's Garden by Henry Cole, and Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.
Children's books referenced above are available through Amazon.