It’s back to school time! Time to start thinking about those first week activities and planning for the new year! So, what should I share? Where should I begin? Well, just by looking at the title, you probably guessed it — read alouds!
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Some of My Favorite Back to School Read Alouds
While I teach all subject areas, one area I have a HUGE passion for is reading. I try to incorporate picture books into everything I do — math, science, and social studies! I just love reading! So today, I’m going to share my favorite picture books related to back to school.
One story I like to use during a class read aloud is First Day Jitters. I love the twist at the end. It’s definitely a good way to make connections with students and talk about their experiences. However, this story is often used throughout the years, and by third grade, it’s been heard a few times. Therefore, I had to get creative with finding books they haven’t heard.
Another story I like is Back-to-School Rules by Laurie Friedman. It is a great story to launch your rules and expectations. I use this book to come up with rules that we should follow. For fun, I also have students create rules that are a bit silly like the book. It’s amazing what kind of rules I get each year just from this read aloud.
BUT, my absolute favorite book for back to school is the story STAY: The True Story of Ten Dogs.
In this story, a circus performer adopts many different dogs that no one else wants. He sees something special – a hidden talent in each of them. I love this story (nearly in tears at the end each time!) and use it to help my students see that each of them has a hidden talent and is special! Even things as simple as read alouds can have a huge impact on your students.
In addition to the books mentioned above, I use the book We the Kids to create a “class constitution,” and together we discuss our Classroom Rights. Another great book that I have previously read aloud to my students is Miss Nelson Is Missing. I like to use this book to create a T-chart of what makes a good teacher and what makes a bad teacher. I also utilize this opportunity to find out what students’ expectations are of me. In past years, I have used My Teacher is a Monster to discuss that what they really think I’m like is not always so. Plus, it’s just adorable. It’s definitely good for the discussions following read alouds!
I use The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown and together we write an Important Book poem based on the book. Some students use the following format to guide them, while others are free to create their own. However, if students create their own poem format, it must still begin with “The Important thing about me is…” and end with “But the important thing about me is…” This is a great introductions lesson.
The Important thing about me is that I am _____________.
I can ______________ & _______________.
I like ______________ & _______________.
But the important thing about me is that I am _____________.
For fun, I like to read Big Bad Wolves at School by Stephen Krensky. It could easily be used to discuss how it is important to stay true to yourself.
This is just a sampling of all the fun picture books that are out there for our readers! The main point comes from our excitement and passion when we read to them. If you need some tips on giving a great read aloud, be sure to check out my post HERE.
You can purchase any of these picture books for your classroom library on Amazon by clicking on the titles.
To your best school year yet!
The Nitty Gritty:
- Read alouds are great activities that you can use at the beginning of the school year to make connections with your students, establish rules, and have fun.
- Some of my favorite read alouds include: First Day Jitters, Back-to-School Rules, Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs, We the Kids, Miss Nelson is Missing!, My Teacher is a Monster!, The Important Book, and Big Bad Wolves at School.
- First Day Jitters is a read aloud that is often used so you may want to choose one of the other read alouds listed.
- Many activities can be done along with these books, such as creating classroom rules or a constitution, making a T-Chart of what makes a good teacher or a bad teacher, writing a poem about what is important about each student, and discussing that everyone is special and has talents.
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