Kindergarten Literacy | 123Read&Write


Kindergarten literacy prepares children for beginning to read. At this level literacy is focused on phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition, and vocabulary building. Kindergarten literacy works to improve reading comprehension skills by activating prior knowledge, introducing the basic elements of a story (including setting, character, and events), requiring children to find evidence within the text, asking children to predict future events, and making connections between the text and their own life.

The 123Read&Write comprehension units utilize different strategies to help promote phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition, and vocabulary building. Units concentrate on the basic concepts of letter sounds, associating pictures to high frequency words, finding evidence within the text, and sequencing of events. These units also provide creative outlets for children to draw or write about their connections with the text.


Narrative Text

Listed below 123Read&Write present five picture books to use with your Kindergarten child: The Snowy Day, Animal Strike at the Zoo . . . It's True, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Where the Wild Things Are, and Diary of a Worm. On each book's link you will find a short reading comprehension test, five follow up lesson plan activities relating to the important aspects of Kindergarten literacy, and a video correlating to the book presented. 


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The Snowy Day

Interest Level: K-2

Reading Level: 2.5

The timeless children’s classic, The Snowy DayHorn Book, by Ezra Jack Keats belongs in every child’s library. This 1963 Caldecott Medal winner offers a beautiful, yet simplistic story of a young boy’s discovery of snow outside his bedroom window. The true beauty of this book, however, is that it brings out the inner-child of all who read it. You truly are taken back to a time when that first snowfall had a magical appeal. Additionally, as noted in  magazine, The Snowy Day"the very first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero." offered  So, for its timeless tale of the wonder of that first snowfall, the soft earth-toned pictures, the unique (for the time period) protagonist; The Snowy Day is one classic that every child and adult should enjoy together.


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Animal Strike at the Zoo . . . It’s True!

Interest Level: K - 3

Reading Level: 2.3

What can a poor zookeeper do when every single animal refuses to howl, monkey around, shout, or anything for that matter? Well, when a little girl finally gets to come to the zoo to see all her favorite animals; will they decided to put on a show, or continue to strike? Depicted with beautiful imagery and adorable animal descriptions, Karma Wilson’s Animal Strike at the Zoo . . . It’s True is sure to win hearts young and old. 


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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Interest Level: K - 2

Reading Level: 3.9

As soon as Alexander opens his eyes after a good night's sleep, things do not go well for him. Whether falling over a skateboard, or getting gum caught in his hair; Alexander's day starts bad and just continues to get worse as the hours pass. Winner of the George G. Stone Center Recognition of Merit and a Georgia Children's Book Award, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judity Viorst helps all of us remember that there are indeed going to be some rotten days.


Where The Wild Things Are (book) cover

Where the Wild Things Are

Interest Level: Pre K - 3

Reading Level: 4.4

What kind of trouble can happen when a young boy goes looking for little fun? To do so, young Max decides to dress up in a silly wolf suit. However, as can happen, mom is annoyed with Max's behavior and sends him to bed without supper. Suddenly, a vast forest takes shape in Max's bedroom and he is wisked away to where the wild things truly are! Maurice Sendak's Caldecott Medal winner blends a vivid imagination and fantasy into the mind of a little boy where anything can and almost certainly will happen. 


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Diary of a Worm

Interest Level: K - 2

Reading Level: 2.4

The imaginative Diary of a Worm is a lovely picture book that brings you into the life of . . . a worm. It seems the worm is not that different from you or I; except that he claims his sister's butt looks just like her rear-end. More importantly, however, he helps our Earth to breathe, which is extremely beneficial. His has a spider as a best friend, his sister drives him nuts, and he's allowed to drag mud through the house. Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin, and wonderfully illustrated by Harry Bliss is sure to be a favorite book in any child's library.


Best Reads for Kindergarten

Children in kindergarten will be reading books at different levels. While all kindergarten aged children will still enjoy their parents reading them picture books, many of them will be ready to start reading their first chapter book. These are stories specifically written for the beginning reader. They utilize pictures on every page for context clues, a larger sized font, shorter sentences, and sight words your kindergartener has learned in school. No matter what level of reading your kindergartener is at, or what type of book they prefer, continuing to read every night is especially important at  this level.



Visit the 123Read&Write Bookstore for these best reads and others by the same authors.

Mo Willems

Mo Willems writes a number of series that are considered best reads. For the pre-k child, you'll want to select books from the Knuffle Bunny and Pigeon series. Knuffle Bunny is Trixie's best stuffed bunny who goes everywhere with her, except when she leaves him behind… accidentally. Although Knuffle Bunny is a stuffed animal, you can almost read his expressions as he follows Trixie's adventures. The Pigeon is a chatty character who grumps and groans and  carries on in an agitated fashion about whatever predicament he's stumbled upon. The Pigeon is sure to make your child laugh! Best reads on Knuffle Bunny and the Pigeon are: Knuffle Bunny, a Cautionary Tale - Knuffle Bunny Too - The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! - Don't Let the Pigeon Drive a Bus! - The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! - and The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!

Doreen Cronin

Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type is the first book in Doreen Cronin's series that features Duck, Farmer Brown's nemesis. Duck continues to make us laugh throughout Giggle, Giggle, Quack - Duck For President - and Dooby, Dooby, Moo. Each of Cronin's books follows Farmer Brown's farm animals on their quest to improve their lives. Unfortuanately, to improve the animals' lives, Farmer Brown must be willing to compromise his simple, farming ways.

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes writes young adult novels as well as childen's picture books. His Lily Series, (Lily's Purple Plastic Purse - Lily's Chocolate Heart - and Lily's Big Day) as well as my favorites, Owen and Chrysanthemum, feature mice characters who deal with issues facing all children in elementary school: an unusual name, a beloved blanket, or an obsession with a purple plastic purse. His stories are written with descriptive words and phrases that amuse and delight the young and old readers alike.

Pamela Duncan Edwards

Pamela Duncan Edwards has written a number of picture books, but Dear Tooth Fairy is the best read due to it's unique story format. Dear Tooth Fairy is a story about a kindergartener named Claire who doesn't have any "wobbly" teeth yet. In this adorable book, Claire decides to write to the Tooth Fairy in order to better understand when she will loose her teeth. To Claire's delight, the Tooth Fairy responds with her own letters. Their letters create the story, Dear Tooth Fairy.

Eric Litwin

Eric Litwin is the creator behind the guitar-strumming, cool cat, Pete. Pete first appears in the picture book, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. He's also found in Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons - and Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes.  While kids love the amazingly laid-back Pete who proclaims, "It's all good," they also love the sing-songy lyrics. These picture books combine the narrative story line with a song that Pete sings throughout the book. The reader immediately learns the refrain and will sing along throughout the book. 

David Shannon

One of the reasons David Shannon's No, David! books are so funny is because they are built on the simplest vocabulary - largely the words "no" and "David." The other reason children love the No, David! books is because of the mischievous main character, David. David is a child who finds trouble everywhere he goes - from eating with his mouth open, to playing baseball in the family room, to tracking mud through the house. While David's antics are fun to laugh at - David always learns his lesson at the end of the story and is remorseful for his wrongdoings. Favorites include: No, David! - Oh, David! - and David Goes to School.

Dav Pilkey

Dav Pilkey's Dumb Bunnies series are books your young child will love because of the slap-stick humor used within the story. Get ready for Momma, Poppa, and Baby Bunny - bunnies who take everything literally. The bunnies spin on words makes us giggle - as do the bunnies wardrobes. Dumb Bunny favorites include The Dumb Bunnies - and Make Way for Dumb Bunnies.

Expository Text

1. Two Miles Below

"At the top of the world there is an ocean. The water is cold and covered with ice. There are mountains…"