There’s a shift that happens when kids learn to read. They go from learning to read, to reading to learn. (This is actually a whole big thing at the Center for Public Education.)
This series, the Living In… series, sits in that shift.
It’s a series for kids who are learning to read that can still be used when reading to learn. And since it’s a culture book, I’m a fan.
Living in… if you’re learning to read.
My son is learning to read.
Giving him access to books that interest him helps. While any child in my home is just going to have to deal with being interested in learning about other cultures (sorry, it’s just the way it is here), this series makes it easy.
The colorful pictures make it particularly attractive. When my son sees the map of Italy on the cover with all the little images of Italian things, he’s interested. So the first goal of picking up a book – achieved.
Once open, the book is geared towards early readers. It’s what the Ready to Read series is all about.
Like other Ready to Read books, the Living In… series has clearly marked and defined reading levels. Parents can figure out which ones will suit their children. The Living In… series is considered Level Two, which they explain as:
Superstar Readers! Stories have simple chapters, longer sentences, and high-interest vocabulary words.
Does he like them? Yes. It’s still on the more challenging-side for him, but the format helps.
First off, the glossary or those learning to read, the glossary of book-specific new words and their definitions as they’re used in the book help. The rest of the book continues encouraging kids with colorful photos, but the content helps them when they make that shift to reading to learn.
Living in… if you’re reading to learn
There’s a lot to take in with the Living In… series. Let’s take a look at the content:
First, we meet the local guide. A child from the country we’re visiting who will share with us various parts of their day. They break it down like this:
- the local language, with pronunciation included as needed
- the people and the population
- major cities and places of interest
- local animals
- the local guide’s family and what they do
- a typical day for the local guide
- highlights of the country’s history
- favorite meals and dishes
- national festivals and celebrations
- fun facts
The books end perfectly. They talk about world travel, their interest in traveling the world, and ask the reader if they’d like to visit the country they just learned about someday.
So, even though the books are about a specific country, the various topics within that country make it easy for a parent to connect with their reader to help them learn something new. Kids are reading to learn.
Living in… Series Review
I’m a fan of this series. They make the story approachable, while jamming it full of information. They provide many opportunities for jumping off points for further discussion and reading.
And that’s exactly how I would use these books. As a starting point to teach kids about another country.
Try these tips:
If they’re interested in… try this…
- the local language >>> read and listen to the “Teach Me Everyday” series for that language
- the people or the daily life >>> try the “If You Were Me and Lived in” series
- major cities and geography >>> pick up a map or google some of the country’s popular sites
- local animals >>> the “Race the Wild” series is a fun read
- highlights of the country’s history and fun facts >>> “Lonely Planet’s Not For Parents” series will give readers even more fun facts
- favorite meals and dishes >>> make some dishes at home or check out local restaurants
- national festivals and celebrations >>> check local listings for related events, or search Pinterest for DIY option
Oh, and I forgot the best part of this book series… they’re really affordable! I often see them for under $5 (and even under $3 sometimes). Want to see more? Buy them on Amazon.
And pin this post for later: