Author: Tim Preston

5-Year-Olds Storybooks

Take your child into the wheat field where the animals play and a lonely scarecrow worries that he will never make a friend because of the way he looks. Your child will enjoy this beautifully descriptive story, learning new vocabulary words on every page. The detailed illustrations will take you through each of the four seasons and let your child experience a special winter night that changes how the animals view the scarecrow.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the book. Sweep your finger under the words as you read the title, the author and illustrator and talk about the job of the author and illustrator. Discuss the pictures on the cover and ask your child to tell you what a scarecrow is and why it might be in the field. Talk about the animals she sees on the cover. Ask your child what she thinks lonely means and why she thinks the scarecrow might be lonely.

Letter Knowledge

Ask your child to find the letter S on the front cover. Encourage her to trace the letter on the cover as you say the sound of the letter together. Explain to your child that there are many words in this book that begin with the letter Ss and to help you find them as you read. 

Oral Language

How did you feel? Relate story to your child’s experiences. As you read about the passing seasons and the lonely scarecrow, ask your child to tell you of a time when she was feeling alone. How did she resolve her situation? Talk with your child about judging by appearances, giving chances and seeing things a different way.

Talk about vocabulary. After reading a sentence with new words in it, ask your child if she knows what the author is trying to say. Define any interesting words you come across as you are reading. 

Phonological Awareness

Talk about letter sounds and word parts. Choose one of the pages where the illustration has many pictures in it. Explain to your child that you are going to say a word in a funny way. See if she can guess the word you are saying and find it in the picture. 

For example, while looking at the illustration of winter, say the beginning sound of a word separated from the rest of the word. Can you find the /b/ …ird, /b/…ird? Let your child guess what word you are saying and find it in the picture.  Try - /f/…ox, /h/…at, /m/..ouse.

Beginning Writing

Draw a scarecrow. Give your child paper and crayons and encourage her to draw her own scarecrow. Ask questions to add details to the drawing or find scraps of fabric, buttons, craft sticks or grass and have your child glue them to the drawing. Have your child tell you a story about the scarecrow and encourage her to write a sentence about it and read it back to you.     

Make a scarecrow. Gather old clothes and make a scarecrow with your child to put outside in your yard. Talk about what you need to make a scarecrow. Go outside and talk about the animals you see in your yard.

Explore other recommended children's books and reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.