My Favorite Back-to-School Read Alouds

There are many things that I miss about having my own classroom.  One of the things I miss the most is planning for my back-to-school read alouds.  Read alouds are a great way to build classroom community as your students share the experience with you and each other.  I think it’s important to establish a daily read aloud routine with “accountable talk” where your students know what their “jobs” are during the read aloud.  I have also been known to sneak in an extra read aloud time during the day where I might reread a loved story, share a new book that we’ve ordered from Scholastic, or work through a chapter book. I think of this as an extra opportunity to try to hook my students on the joy of reading, expose them to exemplary language, and share texts that we will use later as mentor texts.   Here are some of my favorite back-to-school read alouds that I have collected along the way:

1. First Day Jitters

By Julie Danneberg


If you don’t have First Day Jitters in your collection you need to drop everything now and get it!  This book is a popular back-to-school choice among many teachers.  I don’t want to give away too much.  I’ll just say that there is a surprising twist at the end!

2. Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come

By Nancy Carlson


I loved reading this book to my kindergarten students.  It is a fun and happy portrayal of a little mouse’s first day of kindergarten.

3. Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School

By Herman Parish


Who doesn’t love Amelia Bedelia???  Just like her older self, school-age Amelia Bedelia gets very confused and mixed up during her first day of school.  I would recommend reading this book with children that are little older because they are more likely to understand the double meanings throughout the book.

4. Nobody’s Mother is in 2nd Grade

By Robin Pulver


My 2nd graders always got a big kick out of this story.  Cassandra’s mom wants to experience all of the great 2nd grade happenings that Cassandra tells her about, so she decides to visit Cassandra’s classroom disguised as a plant.

5. Hooway for Wodney Wat

By Helen Lester


I like to use this book to talk with my students about being accepting of each other exactly how they are.  Rodney struggles with saying his “r’s” and gets picked on by his peers. When a big bully joins the class Rodney saves the day.  I have to say this book sparked a love in me for capybaras.  They are so cute!

6. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon

By Patty Lovell


This book works well when talking about bullying with your class.  Molly Lou has been taught from an early age the importance of loving yourself for who you are.  Unfortunately, when Mary Lou enters school she encounters a very mean bully. Fortunately, she knows exactly what to do!

7. Officer Buckle and Gloria

By Peggy Rathmann


This is a great book to read when talking about rules.   Gloria steals the show when Officer Buckle shares his safety tips with students at the school assembly

8. Splish, Splash Splat

By Rob Scotton


I love the illustrations and humor in Splat books!  In this story, Splat is afraid to go in the swimming pool with his classmates.  In the end, he swims in the pool and makes a surprising friendship.

What are your favorite back-to-school read alouds?


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