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

By: Reading Rockets

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.

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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.

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Reading Rockets (2008)