Introducing Younger Students to Classic Literature

Classic Literature for Kids

Classic Literature for Kids

So, my oldest, much to my dismay, has shown very little interest in learning to read up to this point.  I’m kind of shocked, as I’m an avid reader, and it just always seemed natural to me that my children would be, too.  Don’t get me wrong, she likes picking books out at the library, and when the High Five magazine comes every month, we have to sit down so I can read it to her from cover to cover.

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Did you catch that part about how I read it to her?  I’m sure that’s pretty normal, as she’s only 4 ½, but it still surprises me.  She’s a really inquisitive kid and likes to know how things work, so I just expected that would extend to words and letters.  But, she’s always been quite content to curl up on my lap and listen as I read The Foot Book or Ladybug Girl or this random book called Verdi about a python who doesn’t want to turn green.

Since her attention span is getting longer, I’m thinking it might be time to start reading her longer books, maybe even moving to the point where we do a chapter a night.  It seems like this might be a way to encourage her to continue growing an interest in reading while also giving me a little more interesting reading material than the 5,000th recitation of Purplicious.

For these reasons, I was quite excited to come across this list of “10 Books to Read with Your 4-7 Year Old.” In addition to being great for parents like me, it seems like a wonderful resource for teachers who are interested in instilling a love of reading while also introducing their students to some great classic literature. I remember so fondly my teachers reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Bunnicula, and Bridge to Terabithia when I was in elementary school, and I believe that seeing my role models (my teachers) enjoying and sharing books played a major role in how I came to love reading myself.

I’m especially excited to get us started on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as my little one’s name is Dorothy, and she begs me to recite the tale to her all the time.  I’d love for her to be introduced to the original version of the story now that she’s old enough to actually follow the plot.

I did notice that Little House on the Prairie is on this list, and while I have it here at the house, I’ll have to double check to see if I think it’s appropriate.  Last year I started reading Little House in the Big Woods, unaware that the first chapter of the book is all about old-timely things like butchering pigs and using their bladders as balloons.  Pair that with another book on the list (Charlotte’s Web), and that might just be a little too much pig killin’ for one sensitive little kid to handle.  😉

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Some of the books on the list I’ve read many times, like the Little House series.  Others I had completely forgotten about, such as Stuart Little.  And then there are others I’d never even heard of, like My Father’s Dragon.  I’ll be looking for all of them during our upcoming trips to the library.

Oh, the blogger who created that list also did “10 Picture Books for Tinies” which might not be fitting  for school-aged kids but seemed worth mentioning for their younger siblings.

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About the author

Lorna Doone Brewer is a freelance writer, also known as the Queen Bee. She lives in the beautiful Inland Northwest with three spirited daughters and a wildly outnumbered husband.

View all articles by Lorna Doone Brewer

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