Encouraging First Grade Readers

How do you motivate and teach kids to read? Check these favorite sources for tips and helpful advice for parents.

How to hook them on books?

First grade children are moving from the stage of “emergent reading” to “real” reading. It’s the perfect time to hook them on books by:

  • having regular family read-aloud sessions
  • getting their first library card
  • storytelling and poetry
  • starting home libraries
  • doing literature enrichment activities at home (word games, word jars, word scavenger hunts)
  • writing their own “books”
  • receiving their first children‘s magazine subscription


Reading Rockets — Information about teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle
Building a Home Library — Children's Book Council
Reading Is Fundamental — Tips and articles on teaching and motivating kids to read
Kids Health — Providing doctor approved health information about children from before birth through adolescence
Reach Out and Read — Supporting children‘s language and literacy development
Becoming a Reader — Information for parents to help their children become successful readers

Tips from the U.S. Department of Education

For great ideas and information to help your first grade reader, see Helping Your Child Become a Reader on the U.S. Department of Education website or call 1–800-USA-Learn.

The information on this page was compiled as part of Reading First at Your Library, an outreach program of the Champaign Public Library, supported by a Back to Books grant from the Illinois State Library, a Division of the Office of Secretary of State.

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