Reading aloud is one of my favorite parts of teaching, it is also an essential part of the beginning of the year. Today, I am going to share with your my favorite read alouds for back to school and how I teach them.
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Back to School Picture Books
The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily Ordinary First Day of School by Albert Lorenz
This is a super interesting book about a HILARIOUS first day of school. My kids LOVE this one! Each year I read it on the first day and we talk about and draw our ideal first day of school.
Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Fincher
I always read this one before starting our reading centers. Then, I have my students write their feelings about reading. I assure them that I will help them to love reading like Miss Malarkey does and then I keep their feelings till the end of the year. We compare how their feelings about reading have changed. (You can find the lesson plan I use here).
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
This is a GREAT book about creativity and working hard even if it is not perfect. We talk about our classroom and what makes it “perfectish” and we do an art project. (Find lesson here).
Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
This one is SO cute!! It teaches all of the qualities that make for a good person and friend. We go through each part of the book and discuss how the otters are doing it correctly and how we can apply their lessons to our lives in the classroom. Plus, there is tons of great humor. (Find lesson here)
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
I always align this great read aloud with our first STEM project of the year. We talk about what makes STEM important in our classroom and how we will be using it throughout the year. Then, I hand them a ton of materials and put them in a group to create anything magnificent in their eyes.
Before we start the project we talk about what makes a good group member and then after the project we talk about what we did great and what we could do better next time. I always make a group project anchor chart for reminders. (Find lesson here)
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
This is a great one for kids that have unique names! It is also a great story to read to get students to start seeing how their actions affect others.
After reading this story we make large name tags for our hallway. Students make bubble letters for their name and inside the letters, they draw pictures and write words about what makes them unique. They also share why they love their name. (You can find the lesson plan I use here).
Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students From Around the World by Miranda Paul
THIS IS A MUST READ! Students don’t always realize that there are people living completely different lives from them around the world. This story goes through how other students around the world get to school. It is a great introduction to diversity and how you will incorporate that throughout your school year. (Find lesson here)
Back to School Chapter Books
Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli
I always start my year with this book! It is a cute story about a teacher who always picks an Angel at the end of the year. The students work all year to earn this award. I use this book to introduce our VIP. Each week I have a VIP who does the classroom jobs, makes a poster, etc. They have to work hard like the characters in this novel in order to become the VIP.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
By now, you know about this book, right?! This is a great story about what it is like to grow up differently than others. This novel teaches compassion, empathy, diversity, and more. Reading this book can cause so many great discussions and it is a perfect read aloud. For this one, I suggest just reading and discussing instead of focusing on intense curriculum.
Cam Jansen: The First Day of School Mystery by David Adler
This series consist of short and easy story and this one is about Cam Jansen solving the mystery on her first day of school. Cam Jansen is always a favorite in my classroom and it is a great series for lower third grade readers! By reading this, all of my kiddos are engaged, and it teaches them a new series to start reading on their own.
Miss Daisy is Crazy! (My Weird School Series #1) by Dan Gutman
My Weird School Books are just downright hilarious and they make my kids LAUGH so hard every time I read them a story from this series. They remind me a lot of Junie B. Jones for the older crowd. Due to this reason, I wouldn’t use these books for reading comprehension activities, but I love them for our daily read aloud. The kids are always engaged and always love them! Plus, they typically start reading more on their own!