Picking out the first week read alouds is one of my FAVORITE back to school activities! There are so many amazing authors out there providing books that cover everything you need for the first month of school. The many important lessons they learn from these great stories are crucial for students, especially to set the expectation from the beginning of the year. It’s ok if they’ve read them before because they can still gain many wonderful things from hearing books more than once.
Keep in mind that I teach first grade so some of these books may be geared towards primary grades, but I believe that most of the books can be used for any elementary grade student. Here I’ll cover some of my favorite read alouds that I personally use during the month and why! Stay tuned next week to learn about which of these I choose for the very first week and favorite activities to go along with these amazing stories! So.. what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
1.Interrupting Chicken- This is such a cute book that teaches students about the importance of not interrupting during important times. It’s such a fun way for students to see how disrupting it can be when someone is talking or telling a story and they can’t finish what they’re saying.
2. Giraffes Can’t Dance- I LOVE reading this book at the beginning of the year. It helps teach students about the importance of growth mindset. It is also a great read aloud to help set the stage for goal setting.
3. Not A Box- This is a great book that helps engage students sense of creativity. It shows them how we can take something simple and create something magical. It also opens their mind to how we all see things in different ways.
4.Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen- I have been reading this book almost as long as I’ve been teaching! It is my favorite book to help students understand the importance of listening to others. They get to hear and learn about how to listen in a safe and funny way.
5. Only One You- This is a sweet book that shows how each and every one of us are unique. It’s a great book for community building and sharing with one another what makes each of us special.
6. Rainbow Fish- Another favorite that I read every year! This book teaches so many valuable lessons to students, including: being kind, sharing, and standing up for yourself.
7. You’re Finally Here!– Students LOVE this book. It shows kids how excited we are as teachers to have them in our classroom and how long we’ve been waiting for them. It’s cute, funny, and entertaining!
8. The Bad Seed & The Good Egg- Both of these books teach students the lesson of it being okay to make bad decisions sometimes and how to reflect. They’re both great for introducing having a growth mindset. It shows students, in a super fun way that students can relate to, that just because something happens to you it doesn’t make you ‘bad’ and that you don’t have to be perfect under pressure.
9.How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?- This is a fun book that shows students the “wrong” things to do at school and the kids absolutely love it! It sparks great conversations about correct choices at school.
10. First Day Jitters- This is my FAVORITE book to read on the very first day of school. It is such a sweet book that students and teachers both love. It shows students that it’s ok to be nervous and that even teachers feel that way too.
11. Chrysanthemum- This classic shows students how it feels when someone says hurtful words about you. It helps students understand how our words can really hurt people even if we can’t see it.
12. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon- This is another book that shows students that it’s ok to be themselves, even if that means they’re different. It shows students how to stand up for themselves and to be brave like Molly Lou.
13. The Most Magnificent Thing- This is one of my favorite books to use to begin STEM in our classroom. It shows students that even when we have an idea, things may not go how we plan but to NEVER give up. It’s a perfect lesson to build flexibility and patience in students and to help motivate them to keep striving when things aren’t going like they thought it would during a project.
14. How Full is Your Bucket?- This is a great book that provides a great metaphor for students to see how their actions impact others. Using this language helps students understand others’ feelings that can be used for the entire year.
15. Teamwork Isn’t My Thing and I Don’t Share- Teamwork is essential to a successful classroom. This book is the perfect way to help students see the importance of teamwork!
16. David Goes To School- David is such a lovable fun character that the students love and that many can make connections to. He wants to do well but has a hard time listening. It’s a great book that shows the things we shouldn’t do in school in fun ways.
17. What Do You Do With A Problem?- This author and illustrator has done an awesome job of making a beautiful books to simply look at things from a different perspective. I love reading this one to discuss problems we may face and how we can look at them differently to solve them.
18. My Mouth is A Volcano- This is such a fun book to teach students about learning how to calm their ‘volcano mouths’. I love this relate this one back to The Interrupting Chicken because it brings about fun discussions that students love.
19. Kindness is Cooler Mrs. Ruler- Mrs. Ruler is here to teach about kindness! It allows students to learn about paying it forward and how our acts of kindness can affect others.
20. The Pigeon Has to Go to School- Here is one of my favorite new read alouds! I cannot wait to read this with my students this year. Pigeon is a beloved character that goes through all the feelings of going to school. It’s a great book that shows students it’s ok to be nervous but to realize all the fun and amazing things they’ll get to learn and do at school!
21. The Recess Queen- This is a great book I love to read before sending students outside for recess for the first time. It’s all about how people may be going through things we don’t understand and to show them kindness anyway.
22. What if Everybody Did That?- This is a great story that captures the bigger picture of how our actions affect others at and beyond school. It challenges them to see how we collectively we can make a positive impact on our world.
23. Officer Buckle and Gloria- This is one of my favorite books to teach about why rules are important in the classroom. The students love this sweet story and learn the importance of being safe!
24. Leo the Late Bloomer- This book is similar to Giraffes Can’t Dance and shows that everyone blooms at their own time when they’re ready. It’s an adorable story with a wonderful message for students that it’s ok to not be able to do something everyone else can. I love to use this to discuss goals we set for ourselves.
25. Little Monkey Calms Down & Little Mouse Says Sorry- These are some of my favorite books to teach students important life skills. We as educators have to help students recognize and deal with emotions and these books open up great dialogue about conflict management.
These are just SOME of my favorite read alouds. Obviously there are SO many more great books out there! You may have noticed that I love to read meaningful stories that teach important lessons. I love children’s literature and there are so many great stories that open up opportunities for students to connect and see that they’re not the only one with these feelings. Don’t forget, next week you can stop back on by to learn about some of my favorite first week of school activities to accompany some of these awesome read alouds!! Be on the lookout for a Back to School Essentials Giveaway happening soon!
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