I can’t believe summer is winding down in Florida. Well, I should say summer break not the summer weather! We will have high temps and lots of humidity here through October or November. One of the first things I try and organize and plan around for those first few days/week back to school are my favorite read alouds. Here are a few tried and true favorite back to school read alouds for any elementary classroom.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
This classic back to school story is all about the nerves of back to school but from a different point of view, the teacher! My kids always love this book and it’s a great way to ask questions and figure out how your students are feeling on their first day. This one is perfect for K through 3rd grade in my opinion.
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
This book has such a great lesson in being unique, doing your best and discovering your own talents. I have used this many years as a getting to know you activity and having students think about and share things they are proud of, good at and love to do. It opens a lot of conversation between peers and learning about each other and our strengths. I think this book is a great fit for 1st through 4th grade students.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
The books tagline is “A guide to daily happiness” and that is a perfect description! It is all about how showing kindness to others not only fills their “bucket” and makes them happy but it also leads to your own happiness and love. This is probably my top pick for a read aloud when talking about having a caring classroom environment and being a loving class family. It is perfect for all ages and grades!
The Name Jar by Yangscook Choi
This is a new book that I found but have heard amazing things about! This is story about a Korean girl who has moved to America and is wanting to fit in, but having an unusual name makes that hard. She learns to love herself and her name with the help of new friends. What a great lesson for the first week of school! This is a great read for even older students in 3rdor 4th grade.
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
I have always loved this book and its important life lessons tucked inside! It is a great read for the start of the year as it focuses on empathy, understanding others and making new friends as a little boy learns how his biggest “enemy” can easily become his friend. Lessons in friendship are universal and work for any age and grade!
My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook
I am sure by the title you can guess what this book is all about! 😊 The age old problem, interrupting and blurting out when its not the right time and how it can easily send things into chaos. This story would be perfect for any age, even the younger grades! I always read it in my third grade classroom and its funny comparison to the boys mouth to a volcano is always a class favorite! No better lesson at the start of the year than to think before you speak.
The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf
I am positive you’ve read this book or at least seen it at some point in your educational journey! It’s a classic story about embracing diversity and appreciating uniqueness in everyone through the story of a box of crayons who do not get along and argue about their value. Another book I think it great for any age.
What if Everyone Did That? by Ellen Javernick
Have you ever asked the question “What if everyone did that?” in your classroom before? I know I have, sometimes a lot! Kids don’t always see the bigger picture of how their actions affect not only them, but those around them as well. This book is a tool in teaching that important life lesson and hopefully opening student’s eyes to being a more positive example and responsible member of society.
Those first few days as a class family are SO important for building bonds, creating friendships and a caring environment for students. It’s also a time of teaching rules, routines and procedures that will last all year long. Picture books are a fun and meaningful way to do all of these!