First Week of School Read Alouds
It's a fact..teachers love books! Discovering new read alouds is always an exciting adventure. The following are my favorite first week of school read alouds. Most of these titles have lesson ideas that go along with them. You can find the coordinating lesson plans and activities in our First Week of School Lesson Plans resource.
For a break down of how these books can be used to jump start a successful first week of school be sure to download our FREE First Week of School Schedule!
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is one of my favorite classroom read alouds. It is a great book for building classroom community at the beginning of the year. After reading the book students can create their own "buckets" for other students to fill with compliments throughout the year to help build a bucket filling classroom community.
First Day Jitters is such a great way to allow students to open up about all of the emotions that everyone feels on the first day of school. This is also a great book to launch morning meetings with.
My favorite activity to do after reading First Day Jitters was to have students sit in a circle and pass a bean bag around. As each student held the bean bag they had to answer the question "I feel ____________ because _______________." This was a great way for students to be able to see that many of their peers were experiencing similar emotions on the first day of school.
A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue is a great book to introduce students to the difference between tattling and telling. Students learn about the 4 tattle rules (Be a Danger Ranger, Be a Problem Solver, Now or Later?, and Mind Your Own Beeswax). These rules are great to post in your classroom and review throughout the year as needed.
A Bug and a Wish is a great book to teach students strategies for conflict resolution. Students learn to talk through their feelings using the sentence stem "It bugs me when you _____________. I wish you would ____________."
After reading it is recommended that students are given the opportunity to practice using the strategy. It is also a great idea to discuss other strategies students can use such as ignoring or moving away.
How I Spent my Summer Vacation is a great read aloud to use as a first writing lesson. The story follows a boy named Wallace who makes up a story about how he spent his summer vacation out west.
After reading students can write about what they did over summer vacation (real or made up). This activity is a great way to get a beginning of the year writing sample from students. You can use the samples to gauge student writing needs in your classroom and plan future writing mini lessons.
One of the best things I did for myself last summer was plan all of my first week of school read alouds and activities. I printed all of the lessons and stored them in file drawers labeled for each day of the first week.
By doing this I was able to spend my summer relaxing knowing that the first week of school was already taken care of. You can grab all of these lessons and activities in our First Week of School Lesson Plans bundle.
Want a FREE First Week of School Schedule to help get your beginning of the year off on the right foot? This schedule is what I used with my third graders to teach procedures and build classroom community during the first week of school. It is perfect to use in 1st-4th grade classrooms!
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