The best way to welcome a new school year is through connection and a welcoming environment. Alongside these important things is the use of quality children’s books that will help you smooth the transition back to school in a way that helps students relate and connect. Here are 5 best read-aloud books for back to school that you will want to consider for the first week back to school and beyond.
Different Books for Different Purposes
We read books to our students to help build a joy of reading and expose them to different vocabulary, and genres and to build background knowledge which is so essential to reading development. But we also choose those books to serve another purpose which is teach teach something important such as social and emotional learning.
Back to school is a time when nerves can be high or excitement can be high. We want to welcome students back to school and make them feel safe and welcome. Choosing just the right books makes this process so much easier.
5 Read Aloud Books That Are Perfect for Back-to-School
Click on any image to view a book unit for that book.
- The Belonging Tree by Mary Ann Cocca Leffler
“The Belonging Tree” by Mary Ann Cocca-Leffler is a heartwarming children’s book that explores the importance of inclusion and finding a sense of belonging. The story follows a group of animal friends who discover a tree where they can all come together and feel accepted. Each animal contributes something unique, highlighting the value of diversity and collaboration. Through vibrant illustrations and gentle storytelling, this book encourages readers to embrace their individuality while fostering a welcoming environment for others. It is a perfect read-aloud choice for the start of a new school year, promoting unity and friendship among students.
- Perfect by: Max Amato
“Perfect” by Max Amato is a delightful children’s book that teaches an important lesson about embracing imperfection. The story follows a young robot named Pip, who always strives for perfection in his work. However, when he accidentally creates a small hole in his artwork, he becomes devastated. Through the guidance of his friends, Pip learns that imperfections can be beautiful and that his mistakes make him unique. This book is a wonderful read-aloud for teachers to introduce the concept of resilience and the importance of embracing our flaws. “Perfect” encourages students to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and celebrate their individuality, fostering a positive and growth-oriented mindset in the classroom.
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
“The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson is a powerful children’s book that celebrates diversity and encourages empathy in the classroom. The story follows a young girl who feels different from her classmates and is hesitant to share her unique experiences. However, as she opens up and starts to share her stories, she realizes that everyone has their own insecurities and differences. Through the power of empathy and understanding, the girl and her classmates come together to build a welcoming and inclusive environment. With its beautiful illustrations and relatable characters, “The Day You Begin” teaches valuable lessons about acceptance, embracing differences, and finding strength in our individual stories. This book is a must-read for teachers looking to foster inclusivity and empathy among their students.
- Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol
“Memory Jars” by Vera Brosgol is a poignant children’s book that holds valuable lessons for teachers as well. The story revolves around a young girl named Liza who copes with the loss of her grandmother by creating memory jars. These jars serve as a powerful tool to help students understand the complex emotions and experiences associated with grief and loss. Teachers can use this book to initiate discussions about empathy, compassion, and resilience within the classroom. The beautiful illustrations and relatable storyline make it an engaging read-aloud that can foster meaningful conversations about memories and their significance. By incorporating “Memory Jars” into their curriculum, teachers can support their students in understanding and processing their own emotions while also promoting a supportive and caring classroom environment.
- Rock What Ya Got by Samantha Berger
“Rock What Ya Got” by Samantha Berger is a heartwarming and joyful children’s book that encourages self-expression and celebrates the uniqueness of every child. In this delightful story, a group of diverse children come together to showcase their individual talents and passions. Through playful rhymes and captivating illustrations, the book inspires young readers to embrace their own abilities and appreciate the talents of others. With its positive and uplifting message, “Rock What Ya Got” reminds children that they are special just the way they are and encourages them to express themselves. This enchanting book is sure to leave a smile on the faces of both children and adults as they embrace the power of self-acceptance and celebrate their own unique qualities.
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If you love children’s books and would love to use them for teaching please visit this blog post to learn more and download a free week-long set of writing lessons.