read a book day

National Read a Book Day 2019: Great Reads for Your Class

What better way to start the school year than celebrating with National Read a Book Day 2019? It’s the perfect way to get kids excited about the new school year after a fun summer holiday.

On September 6th, people everywhere crack open books to read independently, in groups, out loud or quietly. Reading often gets put off as an “I’ll do it later” activity, but today you can show your students the importance of reading, plus give them some amazing books to read!

In this article we’ll cover:

What to read on National Read a Book Day

There are all kinds of books your students can check out for National Read a Book Day — no matter what grade they’re in!

Below we’ve listed some of our favorite books for students to read or for you to read to your class.

1st Grade books

1. The Princess and the Pit Stop

how to read a book a day

In this action-packed children’s story, a princess competes against some classic fairytale characters in an epic race. This book is perfect for reading aloud and encouraging your students to read along.

2. The Cat in the Hat

read a book a day

This is a classic Dr. Seuss story your class will love hearing and will have just as much fun reciting. The Cat in the Hat is easy to read, full of rhymes and has lots of potential for classroom activities.

2nd Grade books

1. The Patchwork Bike

read a book a day

The Patchwork Bike is a fun story with beautiful illustrations that tells the tale of a group of kids who use whatever they can find to make a bike. This book has many uses and can be incorporated into both reading and writing lessons!

2. Now You Know How It Works

why I read a book a day

We all know how curious kids can be! ith this book, you can show them how various things from their everyday lives actually work. This book is great for creating lessons and brainstorming projects for your class to explore.

3rd Grade books

1. Bean Thirteen

I read a book in a day

This book has a guided learning level of J, which is perfect for children in 2nd and 3rd grade. In this fun story, children learn about remainders from the curse of bean thirteen! The story is funny, with amazing illustrations, and helps teach kids about long division.

2. The Day You Begin

national read a book day 2019

This beautiful story talks about how many of us start as outsiders and how it takes great bravery for us to reach out and make new friends — but somehow we all find the courage to do it! This book teaches many amazing lessons about confidence, self-discovery, and making friends and can be used for fun group activities.

4th Grade books

1. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

ted talk read a book a day

This series combines elements of fantastic stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Night at the Museum to create a fun, modern tale. Better yet, students can continue reading and developing their skills further throughout the series if they enjoy the first book.

2. Code 7: Cracking the Code for an Epic Life

I read a book every day

This unique book gives the perspectives of seven children as they try to solve the code to living an epic life. This story is great for creating discussion and various classroom activities. You can check out the Code 7 website for several classroom activity ideas that are curriculum-aligned.

5th Grade books

1. Can I Touch Your Hair?

read a book day 2019

Can I Touch Your Hair? is based on the authors’ real-life experiences growing up. You and your class will find plenty of analogies and metaphors discussing race and friendship you can use to reinforce lessons and lead class discussions.

2. Freak the Mighty

why read a book a day

Freak the Mighty is a fun story that shows kids it’s okay to be different! The characters create an unusual partnership that celebrates imperfections. This is a fun read you study as a class, assign as homework, or use to create assignments related to what your students are studying.

6th Grade books

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

can you read a 200 page book in a day

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a classic novel that takes your class on a fantastical adventure. When your students finish the book, you can watch the movie together and have your students compare the differences!

2. Insert Coin to Continue

i read a book a day

It’s no secret kids love video games, so why not let them read something that plays into their hobby? Insert Coin to Continue is a story with many video game elements you can use to encourage your students to read!

7th Grade books

1. Wonder

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This is an interesting novel that takes the perspectives of many characters as they work to accept the differences that they see in themselves and in others. You can use this book to discuss many topics such as perspective, empathy, and acceptance and open the class up to discussions to see what your students think.

2. Ghost

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Ghost follows a boy trying to overcome his past anger and harness his talent for running. This popular story is full of lessons you can use to create assignments and spark classroom discussions.

8th Grade books

1. Page by Paige

read a book day 2019

Page by Paige tells the tale of a young woman trying to find her place in the world and expressing herself in her sketchbook. Since this is a graphic novel, challenge students to think about how they read and respond to the different format, and ask them to contrast it with other books that they’ve read.

2. Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

read a book day 2019

Bomb is a nonfiction book that follows the events that created the first atomic bomb. This story is full of action, spies, science and history. You can use this book to illustrate lesson material or for assignments such as book reports, summaries and quizzes.

Why reading is important

Reading and writing are essential to almost everything we do in our daily lives, which is why it’s important to train your students to master these skills. Reading has lots of benefits, so use National Read A Book Day to have a class discussion about the importance of reading!

1. Reading develops the brain

read a book day 2019 activities

Like every other muscle, the brain needs exercise to strengthen and develop. Reading builds healthy brains can even improve memory. 

Students have to remember a lot of information when they read: plot, setting, characters dialogue and more!. With age comes declining memory, but reading can slow down this process and help stave off diseases like Alzheimer’s.

2. Reading helps you sleep

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The bright lights from electronic devices remind your brain it’s time to wake up. This is why you should avoid looking at your phone, laptop, or tablet before going to sleep. 

Reading, on the other hand, takes your mind off things and helps you relax. Grab a book before bed and let the words carry you to sleep.

3. Reading improves concentration

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There are so many things grabbing our attention these days, and it can be hard to focus. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span has fallen to just eight seconds! 

Reading helps you focus on one thing and trains your brain to ignore distractions. This skill can help you stay focused when completing other tasks.

4. Reading helps with empathy

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According to a study from Science, reading helps learners of all ages understand how different people think and make decisions. This helps students develop conversational and relationship-building skills for the future as they begin to understand the emotions others are conveying.

Fun reading activities for your class

Reading doesn’t have to be an individual activity — there are plenty of ways to get your entire class involved during National Read a Book Day!

Response cards

activities for national read a book day

Give students a stack of blank cards or small pieces of paper. Then have a list of responses they should write onto each card. While going through a reading, ask students questions and have them all raise a response card to answer. Questions you could ask include:

  • “What emotion is this character portraying in this chapter?”
  • Where/ when does this story take place?
  • What does the main character want?

Once your students have answered, you can ask one of them to explain their answer. Then continue on with the reading!

The Classroom Game Nook: Comprehension catcher

read a book day quilt pattern september

Do you remember cootie catchers from school? On “The Classroom Game Nook”, they took cootie catchers and turned them into a useful classroom tool for discussing readings. Each version of their cootie catcher includes questions students can use to ask and discuss with each other after completing a reading. Wanted posters

how to speed read a book in a day

This fun National Read a Book Day activity combines both reading comprehension with artistic freedom. Students draw the villain of a story, using features described to them from various passages, and say what they are wanted for, following the plot points of the story.

Think, pair, share

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Use the think-pair-share method on National Read a Book Day to encourage reading comprehension! Have your class read a passage and then give them a question. Ask them to:

  • Think about this question on their own
  • Split into pairs and have them discuss their thoughts with each other 
  • Invite pairs to come to the front of the classroom and share their thoughts.

Conclusion: National Read a Book Day 2019

We’ve shown you some of our favorite stories to share with your class, but there are so many more for you to explore. Reading is fun, so use National Read a Book Day to get your class excited about taking on new books and stories!

What are your favorite books to study with your students? Leave a comment below!

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Ryan Juraschka

Ryan is a Junior Content Writer at Prodigy. He is a self-proclaimed nerd that spends his free time exploring imaginary worlds in books, video games, and D&D.

15 thoughts on “National Read a Book Day 2019: Great Reads for Your Class

  1. I love reading aloud chapter books to my students, and I think they enjoy it as well. I’ve done “Little House in the Big Woods”, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, among others. I also do novel studies with my students. We do “Charlotte’s Web”, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”, and “Because of Winn Dixie”.

  2. Great book list! Students need adults to get them going on books that they wouldnt choose but end up loving. During read alouds, nothing is more rewarding than a student saying: cant we read a little longer

  3. My favourite read aloud is The Phantom Tollbooth. Followed by a showing of the movie so we can do a comparison and talk about artistic license and movie making.

  4. A Boy Called Bat: It’s a simple chapter book about a boy who has Autism; they call him “Bat” because he flaps his arms a lot. The book is told from HIS perspective, so it really gives you an insight into how students on the autism spectrum experience life very day. My school is doing it as a One-School, One-Book this year.

  5. My favorite book to read in class…I can’t pick just one but I love Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, and Unbound by Ann E. Burg.

  6. “What Should Danny Do? School Day” was a hit with my sixth graders. I thought it’d be too little for them, but they LOVED the power to choose!

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