National Read a Book Day 2021: Great Reads for Your Class
What to read on National Read a Book DayThere 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 books1. The Princess and the Pit StopIn 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 HatThis 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 books1. The Patchwork BikeThe 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 WorksWe all know how curious kids can be! With 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 books1. Bean ThirteenThis 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 BeginThis 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 books1. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s LibraryThis 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 LifeThis 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 books1. Can I Touch Your Hair?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 that you can use to reinforce lessons and lead class discussions.2. Freak the MightyFreak 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 to study as a class, assign as homework, or create assignments about.
6th Grade books1. The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe 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 them compare the differences!2. Insert Coin to ContinueIt’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 books1. WonderThis is an interesting novel that takes the perspectives of many characters as they work to accept the differences 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. GhostGhost 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 books1. Page by PaigePage 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 WeaponBomb 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 importantReading 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 brainLike 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 sleepThe 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 concentrationThere 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 empathyAccording 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 classReading 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 cardsGive 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?
Think, pair, shareUse 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.
Have a great National Read a Book Day!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!Create or log in to your teacher account on Prodigy -- a no-cost, game-based learning platform for math that’s easy to use for educators and students alike. Aligned with curricula across the English-speaking world, it’s loved by more than 50 million students, teachers and parents.