Those first few weeks of school are a whirlwind, aren’t they? You are establishing routines and procedures, all while trying to get to know each other. As the teacher, you are working hard to set the precedent for how the class will run. Incorporating read alouds that lend themselves to having conversations are a great way to accomplish all of this! So, I want to share my favorite Back to School picture books with you!
I’m sharing all of these books on video too! Check out these Back to School Books on my YouTube channel:
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Back to School Books
Be You by Peter H. Reynolds
Be You is a great back to school book to read aloud! Students will learn how important it is to be themselves and why their uniqueness is needed in the classroom.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
In The Name Jar, Unhei, has just moved to America from Korea. When the kids on the bus have a hard time pronouncing her name, she decides to change it. But what should she change it to? Her new classmates create a name jar to give her some ideas. In the end, she decides to be proud of who she is and where she comes from.
Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival
Making friends can be a tricky concept for kids. In Meesha Makes Friends, Meesha is great at making things…except friends. We follow along as she learns to interact with others, even though she is nervous. A great book for launching a discussion about how to make friends and what it means to be a friend.
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
The Dot is a great book for talking about having confidence. In this book, Vashti doesn’t know how to paint a picture. Her art teacher tells her to just make a dot. Vashti then continues to make dots in all sizes and forms, until she finally considers herself a true artist. A great picture book for discussing how we need to practice and persevere to get better at something.
The Bad Seed by Jory John
The Bad Seed is known for being real bad. He knows it and everyone around him knows it. But can he change his ways? A great book for discussing how we can make positive changes and see the good in each other.
Don’t Hug Doug by Carrie Finison
What is personal space? In Don’t Hug Doug, we learn that Doug doesn’t like to be hugged. We also learn that there are a lot of people who don’t like to be hugged. He explains that this doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you, he just wants his space. And how do we know if someone wants to be hugged? Just ask! This picture book will start a conversation with your students about what personal space is and why it is important.
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett
Beatrice has never made a mistake – ever! She is even known as The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes. Until one day…she makes a mistake in a big way. Readers will learn how she deals with this mistake and how she discovers that mistakes are okay! An important lesson to share with students, especially at the beginning of the school year.
Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds
Say Something is a powerful book for all students to read. This books is all about speaking up and when we should speak up. We need to say something when we have something to share or a creative idea or when we see someone getting hurt. Lots of concrete ideas that will help students speak up in the classroom!
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires
In The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do, we learn that Lou struggles with something that all her friends can do – climbing a tree. She is determined to avoid it at all costs. Then, with some encouragement from her friends, she decides to give it a try. She doesn’t get it the first time…or even the second…but she’s not going to give up! A great back to school book for growth mindset!
Raise Your Hand by Alice Paul Tapper
In Raise Your Hand, Alice is nervous to participate in class because she is afraid that she will get the answers wrong. Through the help of her friends, she gains the courage to speak up and learn that it is okay to be wrong sometimes. An important book that will help students understand that their voice matters in the classroom.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
All Are Welcome is an amazing book for back to school time! It will start some powerful discussions with your class about what it means to create a safe community in your room.
To make the beginning of your school year easier, I created interactive read aloud lesson plans for every single one of these books! The lesson plans include a teacher guide, discussion questions (print on post-its!), written response, activity sheet, craftivity and task cards.
I hope that you are able to read some of these Back to School books with your students at the beginning of the year (or anytime of the year)!
If you love these books, make sure you check out these Social Emotional Learning picture books as well!