Last year, I compiled a list of books for the first week of school. Well, I’ve got some more for you! I truly believe that reading books aloud is a wonderful way to start the school year. It is an amazing way to build community in your classroom! Check out these back to school read alouds.
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Back to School Read Alouds
This is a School by John Schu
This is a School is a moving celebration of school and all it may signify. A school isn’t just a building; it is all the people who work and learn together. It is a place for discovery and asking questions. A place for sharing, for helping, and for community. This is a School is an ode to all of the people who make up a lively and caring school community. The perfect back to school read aloud!
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
It’s the first day of school and everyone is a little nervous, especially…the school. School’s First Day of School is such a clever premise for a book! It takes the school building itself and gives it the angst of the first day of school. As the day goes on, the school is unsure about all the new people and activity going on. But it might just be looking forward to the second day! A wonderful back to school read aloud, especially for those who are a little apprehensive.
Speak Up by Miranda Paul
Speak Up shares that when something really matters, one voice can make a difference. It provides realistic, concrete examples about not being a bystander and standing up for what is right. This spirited picture book celebrates diversity and encourages kids to speak up, unite with others, and take action when they see something that needs to be fixed.
Gibberish by Young Vo
Gibberish tells the story of a young boy named Dat, who is new to the English language. It is his first day of school in a new country. To Dat, everything that everybody says – from the school bus driver to his new classmates – sounds like gibberish. How is he going to make new friends if they can’t understand each other? Luckily there’s a friendly girl in Dat’s girl who knows that there are other ways to communicate besides just talking.
The imagery in Gibberish is brilliant! Vo reveals Dat’s experience by showing the speakers of gibberish as black and white cartoon characters, while he is show more realistically in color. As he starts to understand the language, more color is added to all the page.
My Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Your Name is a Song is an incredibly beautiful picture book. Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl’s mother teachers her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names.
Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day and to share her knowledge with her class. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history and magic behind names.
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