Making Reading Relevant: Read, Learn, and Do! (Pre-K)

Making Reading Relevant: Read, Learn, and Do! (Pre-K)

Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world. Find suggestions for books and corresponding activities to extend your preschooler's reading experiences.

If you are taking a trip to a new place, you may pick up a travel book to learn more about your destination. Reading makes our real-world experiences more meaningful. It gives us historical perspective, a sense of other cultures, an introduction to the symbols and viewpoints we may encounter. Books help us make sense of what we see around us.

Books do the same thing for children. Fictional stories help children work through fears and desires, and nonfiction helps them understand processes and observe patterns. Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world.


Fiction: The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote, by Tony Johnston, or Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly, by Alan Madison

Nonfiction: First Animal Encyclopedia, by DK Publishing, or Kingfisher First Encyclopedia of Animals, by Kingfisher Publishing

Activities: What do animals do? (Jump like a rabbit! Howl like a coyote!) Take a nature walk and talk about the animals you see.


Fiction: Scribble, by Deborah Freedman, or The Art Lesson, by Tomie de Paola

Nonfiction: Frida, by Jonah Winter, or Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, by Jane O'Connor

Activities: Have your child draw a self-portrait, and then have him or her tell you about it. Find examples of art in your community, like murals or sculptures.


Fiction: Leaves, by David Ezra Stein, or Shell Crazy, Snow Crazy, Stone Crazy, Tree Crazy, by Tracy Gallup

Nonfiction: A Seed is Sleepy, by Dianna Hutts Aston, or Nature's Art Box, by Laura C. Martin

Activities: Plant a seed in a cup and watch it grow. Find a tree in your neighborhood and watch how it changes with each season.


See also paired fiction/nonfiction activities for kindergarteners.


Reading Rockets (2008)


You are welcome to print copies or republish materials for non-commercial use as long as credit is given to Reading Rockets and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact [email protected]

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"You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me." — Strickland Gillilan