Listening to audiobooks in the classroom has become less important as standards increase in importance. Listening to an audiobook is certainly different than the student reading on their own, but is it any less important?
In my years of teaching, audio books are just as important to student success as them reading on their own. It introduces students to books above their reading level, teaches listening skills, introduces new vocabulary, bridges topics, and builds comprehension skills among many other benefits. That’s why I think it is crucial to keep your listening book center filled with awesome books your students will want to listen to. Here’s my list of best listening center books from A-Z
Best Listening Center Books from A-Z
A Color of His Own: Children not only learn about colors from this book, but they learn about science, seasons, and the meaning of friendship.
Aaaarrgghh Spider: Spiders aren’t so bad. In fact, this spider wants to be a pet and finds a way to persuade her family into seeing why she would be better than a dog or a cat.
Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See? This child classic not only teaches colors, and animals, but helps kids learn to make predictions and gives word repetition.
Beauty and the Beast: This timeless classic is a great way to teach kids about bullying. It shows them to always look at a person for who they are on the inside.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: This book is a loved book by all, and a great way to introduce the alphabet to new readers.
Cat in the Hat: What happens if you let a strange cat into the house when your mother is out? Kids find out the importance of stranger danger as well as how to clean up their own mess.
Click Clack Moo Cows that Type: Even cows like to learn. In this fun-filled book, Farmer Brown has a problem with his cows typing all day long. Kids learn sound words, problem, and solution.
Caps for Sale: When children read this timeless tradition, they learn about problem and resolution and how to solve their own problems.
Corduroy: This cute little bear has lost a button. Whatever will he do? The problem, resolution, and prediction are all learned in one book about a cute little bear.
Duck on a Bike: Trying something new doesn’t have to be scary. Duck learns that she loves riding a bike in this incredible story Duck on a Bike.
Ella the Elegant Elephant: Talk about description. The use of upper vocabulary words in this fun book teaches kids to use the description in writing, reading and talking.
Fox in Socks: Dr. Seuss has a way of making words fun especially with rhyming. In this fun-filled book, kids learn to rhyme.
Finding Nemo: Finding Nemo is a classic on the screen which means it will be a classic in your read aloud section. Kids can compare and contrast the movie to the book.
Green Eggs and Ham: You never know if you like something until you try it. This famous book teaches kids to try new things.
How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids: Each of us has an invisible bucket and when it is full we feel great, but if our bucket is emptied, we start to feel bad. Teach kids how to fill each other’s buckets.
Hop on Pop: Dr. Seuss has done it again in making rhyming fun for all. Kids can hear and see the way the changing the onset of the word can completely change a word.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Moose A Muffin (Book and Audio CD) (Paperback) [Audio CD]If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON’T Paperback and Audio CDIf You Give a Cat a Cupcake Audio CDIf You Give a Mouse a Cookie / If You Give a Moose a Muffin / If You Give a Pig a Pancake / If You Take a Mouse to School / If You Take a Mouse to the Movies / If You Give a Pig a Party (Audio Cd)Imogene’s Antlers
If You Give a Moose a Muffin: Some people just can’t be pleased especially a moose who wants more muffins.
If you Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t: In this crazy story where Magnolia brings an Alligator to show and tell, kids learn realistic ideas versus fantasy.
If you Give a Pig a Pancake: If you give a pig a pancake, he may want more.
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake: If you give a cat a cupcake, he will want the frosting too.
Imogene’s Antlers: When all else fails, you have to make the best of an unfortunate situation. In this book, kids learn to problem solve and come up with ideas to help a little girl who suddenly grows antlers
Jamaica’s Find: Jamaica finds a stuffed dog at the playground and takes him home. Finders keepers, right?! This story about ethics, conscience, and doing the right thing will teach kids how to do the right thing in their own lives.
The Kissing Hand: The kissing hand is a great way to help kids understand their feelings of fear.
Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything: As Halloween approaches, little kids can start to hear scary stories. This book is great at teaching kids not to fear the silly things around them.
Little Boo: Kids learn how to make a prediction in this fun story about a pumpkin see who wants to be scary. They also learn patience.
Muncha Muncha Muncha: Kids not only learn fun words, but they learn how to spell those tricky sound words through listening.
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? This book teaches onomatopoeia. Kids learn that putting sound into their stories make it interesting and fun.
Nursery Rhymes: Studies show that children who learn to read nursery rhymes tend to pick up reading easier along the way. These are easy to remember and following along with the words helps new readers to learn new words.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Adjectives are great at painting a picture in your head, and this famous Dr. Seuss book gives kids a great way to use descriptive language.
One Big Pair of Underwear: From rhyming fun to sharing your stuff, this book is a great way for kids to learn life lessons.
Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes: Kids get excited to read with this upbeat cat that loves rockin’ and a rollin’ because school is good.
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes: Pete the Cat keeps moving and grooving in his white shoes no matter what mess he steps into. With his funny beats, he questions the reader on different colors of objects and foods enhancing comprehension skills.
Q’s Wild Ride: Kids will take a wild ride with Q-learning social skills, good behavior, and self-control. This little monkey is full of good lessons along the way.
Runaway Ralph: It’s not always greener on the other side. This book teaches kids to be content with what they have.
Room on the Broom: This story has so many twists, turns, and problems that kids will be wondering what’s going to happen next. Will the witch’s friends be able to save her from the dragon?
Silly Sally: Silly Sally is a fun character who runs into multiple animals who all help her parade into town in the most unusual way. Of course, these action words are great for teaching verbs and alliteration.
Stone Soup: Being greedy isn’t going to get you far in life especially in this book. Clever soldiers trick the greedy townspeople with a special soup.
Spooky Wheels on the Bus: Halloween is the time for a little spooky fun. Using the theme from the Wheels on the Bus song, this spooky edition will have the kids learning new words and songs.
The True Story of the Three Little PigsThe Three Little Pigs Book & Cassette (Paul Galdone Classics)Too Many Pumpkins [With Book]The Cow Loves Cookies (Paperback book with Audio CD)By Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar Paperback and CD [Audio CD]
The Three Little Pigs: Hard work gets you far in life, but when you do the easier thing, it doesn’t always end well. This classic is a great way to teach cause and effect and life consequences.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs: It is always good to know there are two sides to every story. It’s up to the reader to decide whether the pigs side or the wolf’s side is right.
Too Many Pumpkins: There is always a positive in everything. This book teaches kids you can turn a disaster into a celebration.
The Cow Loves Cookies:
The Hungry Caterpillar: Who knew a little caterpillar could change into something so beautiful. Kids not only learn about a fascinating caterpillar, but they learn about scientific discovery.
Ugly Duckling: This book encourages vocabulary development as well as treating others the way they would want to be treated. Beauty isn’t always skin deep.
Velveteen Rabbit: Only the wisest and knowledgeable of the toys know what it is like to be real. Children learn the difference between reality and fantasy as the Velveteen rabbit seeks answers on what being real is.
The Wheels on the Bus: With songs and rhymes, kids pick up reading words using their musical senses.
Winnie The Witch: Winnie the Witch is a great way for kids to see how colors can blend into the environment. When everything is Black, you can’t see Wilbur. Kids learn about camouflage and can compare and contrast.
X-Men: The X-men is a boy favorite and can really get the boys in the class to love reading. As they x-men save the world, this book is packed with fun, adventure, and upper vocabulary.
Yertle the Turtle: Dr. Seuss makes learning fun by creating crazy names and words that rhyme. In this fun story, kids learn about greed, pride, and vanity.
Zoomer’s Summer Snowstorm: Zoomer teaches creativity, problem-solving skills, and resolution in his fun adventure with the snow cone machine.
Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips (Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading, Mrs. Karle’s Reading Patch, and Mrs. Karle’s Handwriting Patch). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created “sunshine moments” to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read.
Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 8 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch. With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles.
The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets and Parents Magazine online. Over the last 8 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.