Help your kindergarten students learn about procedural writing with these fun read-aloud how to books for Kindergarten! They're the perfect mentor texts to guide your procedural writing lessons.
In Kindergarten, our young readers are learning so much about different types of books and writing styles. One of the most fun types of writing to teach is procedural writing. This type of writing follows a process or specific steps. This is an everyday writing style that kids can use to teach other people new skills!
Before your students are ready to write down their own process or procedure, they need to learn more about this type of writing. That's where these fun read-aloud books come into play! They'll take the how-to topic to the next level as you share practical, step-by-step titles and creative stories that share about a process or new skill.
I highly recommend adding at least a few of these titles to your kindergarten classroom library! They'll help your students think about this writing style in a more creative way, which will help them add some personality to their work!
14 Best How to Books for Kindergarten
Ready to dive in? These are some of my favourite writing mentor texts for teaching procedural writing! There are plenty of books to choose from, and some can help you foster positive social-emotional skills in addition to learning a new writing style!
1. How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan
Your kindergarten kids will quickly realise that this genre doesn't have to be boring or dry at all! In this book, they'll learn all a variety of tips about how to babysit a grandpa, including what types of snacks to feed him and how to keep him occupied. This is part of a series, so you can easily add them all to your reading list!
2. How to Brush Your Teeth with Snappy Crocodile by Jane Clarke
This simple board book has colourful illustrations and helpful tips to make it so easy to learn how to brush your teeth. This is a really straightforward example that will resonate with really young readers.
3. How to Apologize by David LaRochelle
If there is one book on this list that you order, please get this one! Conflict resolution is so challenging for little kids navigating a whole new world and making new friends during those first few weeks at school. You can use this book as a read aloud to teach your students how to apologise, then use it as a mentor text to study how-to writing! This is a must-have for sure.
4. How to Feed Your Parents by Ryan Miller
This adorable story is more of a creative interpretation of this theme as a young Matilda has to figure out how to feed her parents, not the other way around. In that process, both Matilda and your students will learn about cooking and preparing exciting meals.
5. All The Things: How to Draw Books for Kids by Alli Koch
Of all the titles on the list, this one will teach your students a practical skill. Since most kids absolutely love drawing anyway, this book would be a phenomenal, interactive way to show them how to teach someone a new skill.
From going over the different things you need to complete your drawing and the step-by-step instructions for each activity, they'll be able to put these steps to the test and have fun along the way. Just grab an extra copy because your students will want to borrow this one for later!
6. How to Catch a Dinosaur by Adam Wallace
I love that this playful title toes into the topic of research or looking for clues! As this team of young children looks for signs that dinosaurs are still around, they start to see their school and neighbourhood with new eyes. This would be a great title to discuss to talk about how exactly these friends went about searching for their elusive dino pal.
7. How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander
You should absolutely read this book during the first week of school or whenever you start launching reading time! It talks about reading books in the most visceral, enticing way and will make your students feel so excited to cosy up with their favourite picture books! It's also written in poems, so it's the perfect story to show that there are different ways to teach people how to do something.
8. How to Write a Story by Kate Messner
This is a great book to share at the beginning of the year when you want to help your kindergarten children understand exactly how to write a story! It follows a 10-step process that really guides you through the creative writing process. It's fantastic for every level of elementary school and is an excellent example of teaching people how to write exciting stories people will want to read.
I'd read this one several times throughout the year and even build an anchor chart around it! It's such a great reference point and a delightful book.
9. How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers by Mordicai Gerstein
This is a fantastic, literal interpretation of the theme! If you want to ride your bicycle to the moon to plant sunflowers, you just need to follow these 24 simple steps. It's funny, lighthearted, and one of the best kindergarten books to teach how to writing!
10. Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall
In this story of a young boy, we meet Jabari, who is trying to build a fantastic flying machine. At first, he struggles to figure out the technical aspects of his build and is having a tough time. At the end of the book, your readers will be able to glean lessons from this story to figure out exactly what Jabari has to do to be successful.
This is a great way to teach younger children social-emotional skills and self-regulation, too! It's perfect for your class library.
11. How to Share with a Bear by Eric Pinder
This is another great example of a children's book that teaches you how to do something through a fictional story. Have your students listen to this story and break it into simple steps with an anchor chart. Make it really clear and list out step one, step two, etc!
12. How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk
This option would be fantastic for young learners who love technology or want to learn how to code! A young girl, Pearl, is trying to build a sand castle, but she keeps having problem after problem. Then, she applies the principles of coding to build the perfect sand castle. Coding is about putting steps in the right order, so this is a great story about processes!
13. How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton
Whether you are a new teacher or just need some fun books to entice your new students, this one is great to have on your list! It goes in-depth about everything you need to know about caring for a train, from where it lives, to how to take care of it, etc. It's part of a series, and each title is geared towards primary grades.
14. How to Catch a Yeti by Adam Wallace
In this series, your students will learn how to catch a variety of fictional (or extinct) creatures like yetis, unicorns, dinosaurs, and more. Through narrative storytelling, your students can glean the individual steps required to catch the elusive yeti. This is a funny story to read as a mentor text, and you can easily fill your library with this series!
Tips for Teaching How to Writing in Kindergarten
Once you study these mentor texts, it's essential to help your students consolidate the lessons they're learning to refer to them later.
Make anchor charts
Consider making several different anchor charts to collect your class' observations about how to writing in general, and then to model outlining the procedural steps in the stories.
Some stories will require more discussion about the process, while others will follow a step-by-step format. It can be helpful to use a numbered list to collect and order all the steps as a reflection after reading.
Talk and draw
Since your students are still learning to read this school year, it's crucial to incorporate oral language and drawings. Have students practice explaining the steps out loud before asking them to represent it on paper or with a sketch.
Practise sorting and sequencing
You can also have students practise sorting different events to get used to putting them in order. Start small with 3-4 images from a story or a daily routine and have them put them together.
Then, you can have your class work on sequencing the events in longer stories to get really precise!
Follow an instruction sheet
Give kids instruction sheets to show them how to complete a challenging task. Be sure to use simple words and lots of images to walk them through it! This can help them develop social skills and understand why giving accurate steps in your instructions is so important.
Use my digital slides
I also have several more resources to help elementary teachers teach their students all about procedures and procedural writing.
My How to Write Procedures Digital Slides is best for Kindergarten teachers because it will break down all these skills into bite-sized pieces, perfect for young learners.
For older students, I recommend using my Potion Procedures Creative Writing Activity! They'll love writing about their imaginary potions, especially for Halloween.
Be sure to get my procedural writing slides and order some of these how-to books for Kindergarten to take your reading instruction to the next level this year! This is such a great topic, and you'll have a fun time teaching your students through these mentor texts and tips.