Are you looking for some great back to school read alouds for your first day or week of school?
Planning for the beginning of the year can be tough… but selecting the best picture books to read from doesn’t have to be! Here are my top back to school read alouds, along with some get to know you activities to pair with these diverse titles.
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates is a great and funny book to talk about self control and differences between students.
Students are sure to laugh and feel more comfortable in your classroom after reading this!
The Day the Crayons Quit
There are so many ways to use this fun and funny read aloud in your classroom.
Be You! is exactly what it sounds like.. a book celebrating people being unique and different. This is a great addition to your back to school read alouds and can be paired well with an All About Me activity.
The Kissing Hand
This endearing tale about leaving parents behind to go to school is a GREAT read aloud, especially for younger learners.
You can bring it to the next level by creating a kissing hand with your students on the first day of school.
First Day Jitters
Who ISN’T nervous on the first day of school? Teachers and students alike all have the jitters.
Use First Day Jitters to then make jitter juice with your students or to have them write about their day before going home the first day of school.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a GREAT book to talk about being proud of yourself and celebrating being unique.
Adding this to your back to school read alouds is a great way to make students feel more comfortable in your classroom.
What If Everybody Did That?
What if everyone threw trash on the ground? What if everyone stopped taking care of the classroom?
I love to use this back to school read aloud to talk about responsibility in the classroom and different ways we can take care of our school and supplies.
If You Take a Mouse to School
Who doesn’t love a good If You Give A … story!? This one is perfect for back to school. I love to pair it with a writing activity on how students get ready for school each day.
Do Unto Otters
This punny.. I mean funny.. book is a great way to talk about manners in your classroom.
Do Unto Otters is about a new neighbor who moves in and how their expectations are different, but how they can create a positive environment together.
What happens when you have someone you really don’t get along with? You get revenge… with enemy pie.
Except.. what happens when you discover you actually like the person? That is what this book explores. It is a GREAT way to talk about how people change and have differences, but can still be friends.
The Sandwich Swap
Similar to Enemy Pie… what happens when you discover your BFF likes something different than what you like? It can be hard for kiddos to see past that, but this book does an excellent job exploring what to do when differences arise between friends!
How Full is Your Bucket?
I love using this book to help teach students how we can compliment others and truly fill each others’ buckets.
We then make fun buckets and take turns actually filling them with compliments.
Giraffes Can’t Dance
This book about Gerald the giraffe explores what happens when you really want to do something but feel like you cannot. It is a great way to talk about how we are all learning and the importance of perseverance.
What happens when you feel like you cannot do something.. but just TRY? Amazing things can happen! This is a great book to talk about creativity and perseverance. We then create drawings based off a dot on Dot Day!
A Bad Case of Stripes
Chrysanthemum has such a unique name that was especially picked for her by her family. I love to use this book to talk about student names and how special each one is.
The Word Collector
The Word Collector is such a fun tale about collecting unique and magical words. I love to use this to introduce using a personal dictionary each year where students can add new words they find to then use in their own writing.
You’re Finally Here
You’re Finally Here can be a difficult book to find but is WORTH the purchase if you can get your hands on it. It talks about the excitement that builds up to a big event, and is a great read aloud to kick of the first day of school.
Mean Jean the Recess Queen
What happens when someone stands up to someone who is being a bully? You will find out in this fun rhyming tale.
Mean Jean the Recess Queen is GREAT for reading and doing a quick activity about how students need to behave at recess.
Ruby the Copycat
What happens when someone gets along with you SO WELL that they start copying everything you do? It can make everyone uncomfortable.
This book explores that concept and the importance of being yourself.
What are your favorite back to school read alouds? Check out these great character building and writing activities that can be used with these back to school classics. Drop your favorite in the comments below!
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