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Back to School Read Alouds: Fun, Engaging Books to Kick Off the School Year

It’s back to school time! Are you looking for some great Back to School Read Aloud books to read to your students at the beginning of the year? Check out my list of five favorite back to school read alouds. These picture books are sure to get your students excited about learning and coming back to school. I hope you enjoy them!

Back to school read alouds

First Day Jitters

I have been reading this to my kids on the first day of school for at least 15 years now. It is my all-time favorite back to school read aloud because it shows that not only are the kids nervous on the first day of school but so is the teacher. Your kids will love to see that they aren’t the only ones nervous on the first day. 

Since this book has been around for a while, so many activities can be done with it. I love the idea of Jitter Jar. Everyone writes down what they are nervous about and then they crumple it up and put it in a jar. This activity and others you will enjoy can be found here

The Day You Begin

This is a great book to show how everyone at school is different. I love that it focuses on being proud of your heritage and culture. It talks about how kids look different, have different skin colors, and how they eat different foods. This book celebrates how awesome each kid in your class is. 

This is a great book to use for a lesson on how it feels to be an outsider and different. One activity that you can do with this book is to make a chain of talents for the classroom. Each student will write a talent they have on a strip of paper. Then link all the papers together to make a chain. This activity and lesson can be found here

The Invisible Boy

This is a great book about friendship. A boy in the class feels invisible. Nobody notices him or invites him to play games or even talks to him. I’m sure we all know kids like that in our classrooms. Then a new kid comes to class and everything changes. You will love this book!

The author Trudy Ludwig is an amazing writer. She has written many other great books. Her website is full of great lessons and activities to go along with her books. You can check out all the free activities and lessons that she has available on her website here. Just scroll down till you get to The Invisible Boy. 

A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School

This is a pretty new book by the author Shannon Olsen. What’s so awesome about her is that she is also a teacher. I just think that is so cool. She knows exactly what the first day of school is like. This back to school read aloud is a letter written from the teacher’s point of view. She’s not only there to teach them but to also care for them and help them grow. 

There are so many great activities that can be done with this book that I found just by searching online. One that I think would be awesome to do is to have your kids write a letter to the teacher on the first day of school telling about their lives. You can check out this activity here.

Enemy Pie

I always read this book at the beginning of the year. It’s a great book that shows that sometimes your enemy can become your best friend. The boy in the story is challenged to spend the day with his enemy, Jeremy, and get him to come to the house later for “enemy pie”. In the end, they become friends. 

This book is a great way to share with kids that you need to get to know people first before you call them your enemy. I have a fun activity that I do with the kids where they have to make a recipe for Friendship Pie. They list the ingredients they need and write the directions. I have this available in PDF and digital form for free here

If you like this activity you should check out the lesson plan that goes along with Enemy Pie. It is great for teaching your upper elementary students about character traits and feelings. You can learn more about it here

These are just a few of the many great back to school read alouds that are available to help you get your students back to school ready. So, what are you waiting for? Start reading!

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