How did circle time go for you today? Did you share a favorite book with kids? Circle time activities often include sharing a book. Are you here because you could use some different circle time books to read to the kids? Yes? Ok, let’s get to it.
Circle Time Books
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Choosing Just Right Books for Circle Time
Some books are better for circle time than others. Here are some things to look for when selecting circle time books.
- Short- keeps the attention of a large group of young students
- Big Bold Pictures- enables all kids to see the illustrations
- Repetitive Text- encourages kids to join in on familiar parts
- Character Voices- allows the reader to change their voice for different characters
- Sections to Act Out- actively engages kids
- Rhythm and Rhyme- draws students into the story
- Class Favorites- ensures to have an instant hit
Great Books to Read at Circle Time
You may be familiar with many of these books. So, I’m going to share why each one makes such a great choice to read during circle time.
Need a book to get the students excited about a new school year? Try Sounds Like School Spirit by Meg Fleming. It’s got a call and response cheer built-in on almost every page. It’s full of rhythm and fast-paced. A hit for a first-day read-aloud.
Duck Duck Moose by Mary Sullivan has the same urgency and feel of the story, Chicken Little. A girl alerts Duck, Duck, and Moose that Goose is missing. Everyone takes off to find goose. Along the way come some road bumps, scrapes, and stings! No worries though…Goose turns up just fine.
This is an energetic and lively read perfect for whole group read-alouds.
Cowhide-And-Seek by Sheri Dillard is written by a preschool teacher. Who knows what keeps a preschoolers’ attention better than a preschool teacher! It’s full of rhythm of fun and has lots of learning extension opportunities such as counting, positional words, and comparing.
Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin (first four original books)- bold pictures, repetitive text, and lots of rhythm and rhyme
I have lots of literacy activities to do with the Pete the Cat books too.—>Pete the Cat Activities
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen- students can act out each action, also full of rhythm
And, try these ideas after reading.—->We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Activities
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas (or other books by her)- filled with rhyme, big bold pictures (perfect for a very big group), and short
Try these puppets to use during circle time.—>Rhyming Dust Bunnies Puppets
The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri- rhythm and rhyme that will remind you a lot of The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, short, and good rhythm
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (or another Willems’ pigeon book)- easy to do character voices and encourages kids to join in on parts, short, and big images
I have lots of Brown Bear, Brown Bear activties as well as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activities too.
Frog on a Log by Kes Gray and Jim Field- rhyme, rhyme and more rhyme, bold pictures, and short
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox- bold pictures, good rhythm, and short
If You’re a Robot and You Know It by David Carter- kids can act out each page, bold pictures, encourages kids to join in and sing
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff (and others in the series)- usually a class favorite, bold pictures, short, and has a predictable rhythm
Yankee Doodleby Mary Ann Hoberman (and others in the series)- kids can sing along, silly, and bold pictures
Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter– interactive, bold pictures, and short
For more interactive books that are fun for circle time, see my whole list.—>Interactive Books
There’s a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach is perfect if you like to speak like a French waiter. A little boy orders soup and each time the waiter brings it from the kitchen the boy finds an animal in his soup.
Printable Circle Time Book List
Grab the printable circle time read-alouds list by clicking on “click here to get your printable” button below.
Or, choose any familiar favorite book of the class!
Try one of these picks at your next circle time. I think you will find that the kids will be engaged and pleased with your choice.
Looking for more circle time activities? Check out 35 Circle Time Songs and Chants to Build Language Skills.
*This post first appeared on Growing Book by Book on 2/14/17 and has been updated.