Literature for 1st-3rd

For kindergarten through 3rd grade, my son and I watched the Reading Rainbow series to discover which books and topics peaked my his interest.  The episode name is the same as title of the featured book.  Fortunately, our local library has both the video and the books that it featured.

This way of previewing books was loads of fun because it led to many interesting discussions and field trips.  The series exposed us to diverse people, places, things and ideas.

I have since found many more quality reading resources for K-3rd grades.  If I were to homeschool another young child, I would still begin with Reading Rainbow because this was great fun to do as a family.

The following are the (155) 30-minute episodes of the Reading Rainbow television series:

  • Season 1 Original Air Date 1983
    Episode 1: Tight Times
    Episode 2: Miss Nelson Is Back
    Episode 3: Bea and Mr. Jones
    Episode 4: Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
    Episode 5: Louis the Fish
    Episode 6: Digging Up Dinosaurs
    Episode 7: Liang and the Magic Paintbrush
    Episode 8: Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport
    Episode 9: Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe
    Episode 10: The Gift of the Sacred Dog
    Episode 11: Gregory, the Terrible Eater
    Episode 12: Three by the Sea
    Episode 13: Arthur’s Eyes
    Episode 14: The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash
    Episode 15: Ty’s One Man Band
  • Season 2, Original Air Date—1984
    Episode 1: Hot-Air Henry
    Episode 2: Simon’s Book
    Episode 3: Ox-Cart Man
    Episode 4: Mystery on the Docks
    Episode 5: A Chair for My Mother
  • Season 3, Original 1985 to 1986
    Episode 1: Paul Bunyan
    Episode 2: The Patchwork Quilt
    Episode 3: Hill of Fire
    Episode 4: The Tortoise and the Hare
    Episode 5: Perfect the Pig
    Episode 6: Animal Cafe
    Episode 7: Alistair in Outer Space
    Episode 8: Feelings
    Episode 9: Watch the Stars Come Out
    Episode 10: Mama Don’t Allow
  • Season 4, Original Air Date—1986 to 1987
    Episode 1: Space Case
    Episode 2: The Milk Makers
    Episode 3: Imogene’s Antlers
    Episode 4: Germs Make Me Sick!
    Episode 5: Abiyoyo
    Episode 6: The Life Cycle of the Honeybee
    Episode 7: Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
    Episode 8: Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones
    Episode 9: The Paper Crane
    Episode 10: The Runaway Duck
    Episode 11: A Three Hat Day
    Episode 12: Rumpelstiltskin
    Episode 13: Best Friends
    Episode 14: Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
    Episode 15: My Little Island
  • Season 5 Original Air Date 1988 to 1989
    Episode 1: The Bionic Bunny Show
    Episode 2: Bugs
    Episode 3: The Robbery at the Diamond Dog Diner
    Episode 4: Brush
    Episode 5: The Purple Coat
    Episode 6: Barn Dance!
    Episode 7: Duncan and Dolores
    Episode 8: Knots on a Counting Rope
    Episode 9: Mummies Made in Egypt
    Episode 10: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
  • Season 6 Original Air Date 1989 to 1990
    Episode 1: Humphrey the Lost Whale: A True Story
    Episode 2: Stay Away from the Junkyard!
    Episode 3: Little Nino’s Pizzeria
    Episode 4: Ludlow Laughs
    Episode 5: Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo
    Episode 6: Dive to the Coral Reefs
    Episode 7: Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro’s Cactus
    Episode 8: Tooth-Gnasher Superflash
    Episode 9: Bored- Nothing to Do!
    Episode 10: Sports Pages
  • Season 7 Original Air Date 1990 to 1991
    Episode 1: The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth
    Episode 2: Jack, the Seal and the Sea
    Episode 3: The Bicycle Man
    Episode 4: Florence and Eric Take the Cake
    Episode 5: Sunken Treasure
    Episode 6: Alistair’s Time Machine
    Episode 7: The Adventures of Taxi Dog
    Episode 8: The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
    Episode 9: Galimoto
    Episode 10: Fox on the Job
  • Season 8 Original Air Date 1991 to 1992
    Episode 1: Opt: An Illusionary Tale
    Episode 2: Racoons and Ripe Corn
    Episode 3: The Lady with the Ship on Her Head
    Episode 4: Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express
    Episode 5: Snowy Day: Stories and Poems
    Episode 6: Tar Beach
    Episode 7: The Wall
    Episode 8: Sam the Sea Cow
    Episode 9: Rechenka’s Eggs
    Episode 10: Sophie and Lou
  • Season 9 Original Air Date 1992 to 1993
    Episode 1: Come a Tide
    Episode 2: The Piggy in the Puddle
    Episode 3: Seashore Surprises
    Episode 4: Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies
    Episode 5: Berlioz the Bear
    Episode 6: Amazing Grace
    Episode 7: The Furry News
    Episode 8: Mrs. Katz and Tush
    Episode 9: The Salamander Room
    Episode 10: Silent Lotus
  • Season 10 Original Air Date 1993 to 1994
    Episode 1: Follow the Drinking Gourd
    Episode 2: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
    Episode 3: Is This a House for Hermit Crab?
    Episode 4: And Still the Turtle Watched
    Episode 5: June 29, 1999
    Episode 6: Nosey Mrs. Rat
    Episode 7: Borreguita and the Coyote
    Episode 8: Summer
    Episode 9: Once There Was a Tree
    Episode 10: Appelemondo’ s Dreams
  • Season 11 Original Air Date 1994 to 1996
    Episode 1: The Lotus Seed
    Episode 2: Hail to Mail
    Episode 3: Stellaluna
    Episode 4: My Shadow
    Episode 5: Ruth Law Thrills a Nation
    Episode 6: The Wonderful Towers of Watts
    Episode 7: Martha Speaks
    Episode 8: Alejandro’s Gift
    Episode 9: The Sign Painter’s Dream
    Episode 10: Archibald Frisby
    Episode 11: Fly Away Home
    Episode 12: Uncle Jed’s Barber Shop
    Episode 13: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
    Episode 14: Owen
  • Season 12 Original Air Date 1996 to
    Episode 1: How Much Is a Million?
    Episode 2: Always My Dad
    Episode 3: Bread Is for Eating
    Episode 4: Hotel Animal
    Episode 5: Someplace Else
    Episode 6: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
    Episode 7: On the Day You Were Born
    Episode 8: Hip Cat
    Episode 9: Regina’s Big Mistake
    Episode 10: Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
    Episode 11: The Carousel
  • Season 13 Original Air Date 1998 to 1990
    Episode 1: Math Curse
    Episode 2: My Life with the Wave
    Episode 3: Saturday Sancocho
    Episode 4: When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba
    Episode 5: Work Song
  • Season 14 Original Air Date 2000 to 2002
    Episode 1: The Shaman’s Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
    Episode 2: Pet Stories You Don’t Have to Walk
    Episode 3: Lemonade for Sale
    Episode 4: The Secret Shortcut
    Episode 5: My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States
    Episode 6: Badger’s Parting Gifts
    Episode 7: The Tin Forest
    Episode 8: Max
    Episode 9: Enemy Pie
    Episode 10: Our Big Home: An Earth Poem
  • Season 15 Original Air Date 2004 to 2005
    Episode 1: Visiting Day
    Episode 2: Unique Monique
    Episode 3: Mr. George Baker
    Episode 4: Beegu
    Episode 5: Two Old Potatoes and Me
  • Unknown Season: Original Air Date 2006
    Boxes for Katje
    Game Day
    I Lost My Tooth in Africa
    Show Way
    The Biggest Test

For additional recommended literature, visit

The following are my son’s personal favorites:

  • Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress.  Published in 1985.   We have enjoy the video of this many, many times.
  • Check back.  Remembering beloved literature from 10 year-ago is stretching my brain cells quite a bit.    I will need to add to list as those fond memories resurface.

Update May 29, 2014:   Reading Rainbow will be available for FREE on the Internet in interactive form!  To learn more, visit

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“You can homeschool for almost free, with a library card and a math program.”
Carole Joy Seid

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