I like to start off the year reading Mary Wore Her Red Dress by Merle Peek as it easily encourages children to sing along on their very first day in class. It also lends itself well to adapting it to sing it the children’s names and their own clothing items. This way the children are learning each other’s names and getting comfortable in our group setting. After reading it, rereading it and then recreating it with our own information, we then make it in to our first class book. I take a photo of each child highlighting the item of clothing chosen and put the words on each page.
This year I printed the photos in black and white and just colored in the item being featured.
This quickly becomes a sought after independent reading book often inspiring good friends to cuddle up and read it together. The predictable text and color coded words and names repeated provide just the right amount of scaffolding as young children are becoming readers. They feel successful which leads to the act of reading being associated with pleasure. It isn’t unusual for 7-8 children to end up reading it together joyfully singing and pointing out their own special page.
Have some fun playing with it in your class!