One way I start building a classroom community is through reading stories aloud each day. My elementary students LOVE when I read to them. It is a great way to model fluency, reading with expression, and best of all it’s FUN! Going back to school can be exciting and scary at the same time. These stories help break the tension and help students understand they aren’t alone. Looking for book extension ideas, keep reading!
Here are some of my favorite children’s books to read during our first week of school.
Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School
For those who love Amelia Bedelia stories, this newer adventure was written by her nephew Herman Parish. Continuing in the tradition of original Amelia Bedelia books, this story is filled with figurative language and confusing expressions of speech that make the character so delightful. Amelia’s first day brings smiles and breaks the tension.
It’s Back to School We Go!
Have you ever wondered what school is like in other countries? In It’s Back to School We Go! readers by Ellen Jackson can learn about activities and customs from 11 different countries. Children from Kenya, Japan, China, Peru, Canada, Kazakhstan, Australia, Germany, Russia, India, and the U.S. share their variety of emotions towards starting a new school year. You also learn about their culture, the subjects they study, and how they have fun. This multicultural book is great for appreciating diversity and unity.
Miss Mingo and the First Day of School
Creating a community of learners is an important part of starting a new year. Miss Flamingo has an eclectic class, but she helps them realize something special about themselves.
After reading this story, use it as a mentor text to open up a conversation about what makes each of them unique and special. I could also see this becoming a “Getting to Know Me” writing activity.
First Day Jitters
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a classic for back-to-school week. Through clever illustrations, the reader assumes Sarah is a student who doesn’t want to start a new school. Many of your students will connect with Sarah’s fears about not knowing anyone and worrying about how to find her way around the school. Throughout the story, Sarah is encouraged and supported to be brave. You and your elementary students will love the surprise ending.
Printable interactive read-aloud questions,
A writing craft with templates.
BONUS: I’ll even teach you how to print onto sticky notes!
Try to remember to breathe, find joy in the little things, and know that you CAN do this!
Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!