Every afternoon, I try to read to the children from a novel. There are many reasons we take time in the day for this activity. First, it is a very necessary relaxation time. In a long, rigorous day, it is beneficial to have quiet times to rejuvenate.
Reading, to even very experienced readers, has educational benefits as well as the restorative properties. Children are exposed to literature they may not choose on their own. The reading levels of the books I read are often above that of a typical first and second grader. Because the books are more advanced, children are introduced to a richer vocabulary and more complex plot lines, than those in typical grade level books.
Reading one book, to the whole class, gives us a common experience. From this we can have discussions about the characters, settings, plots, and themes.
Through out the year try to read a wide variety of literature. Currently, we are reading a historical novel, The Captain's Dog, by Roland Smith. This novel is told by Seaman, Captain Lewis's dog. He tells about Lewis and Clark's travels and experiences on their expedition to discover a Northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean.