“What are your favorite books for back to school?” is a question often received.
I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I have been asked this question!
The truth is, I have so many favorite books for the back to school season that I could go on for days. I have done my best to narrow it down to my absolute top choices of classic and new releases!
A good back to school read aloud has a few musts, but they can vary widely. You could choose an endearing story that tugs at heartstrings. Or maybe a thrilling tale that will get us pumped up for the school year! These books for back to school promise to engage, entertain, and empower your students. Get ready to laugh, gasp, and cheer together while building a classroom community with a shared experience.
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Classic Books for Back to School
- First Day Jitters by Julie Dannenberg
- This one is a first day of school classic! Throughout the book, we learn about how nervous the main character is, only to be surprised by who they are. There is no surprise, this book is perfect for breaking the ice.
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
- In this meaningful story, filled with beautiful illustrations by Rafael López, you can discover how diversity is a classroom’s strength. Alas, not every room you walk into will immediately feel welcoming, but it is your differences that make you who you are.
- David Goes to School by David Shannon
- David books are always a popular choice with my students, and I know your students will love them too! This classic character is up to their usual hijinx, which means there are a lot of discussions to be had about school expectations.
- Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
- Wemberly worries about everything and this is something many of us, and our students, can identify with! Of course, this classic book is perfect for back to school, or any other time of the school year!
Newly Released Books for Back to School
- The Crayons Go Back to School by Drew Daywalt
- In the latest edition of The Crayons series, the popular characters are getting ready to return to school. Naturally, this story is a great jumping-off point to talk about all the things you loved about summer while pointing out what you are looking forward to this school year!
- You’re Finally Here by Melanie Watt
- The Back to School season can be full of a range of emotions, and this book by Melanie Watt of Scaredy Squirrel fame can help to assure your students that all emotions are valid. Accordingly, I love this story for identifying feelings and starting the discussion on how to work with our emotions instead of against them.
- How to Get Your Octopus to School by Becky Scharnhorst
- There are SO many things an octopus would like to do other than go to school. This book is wonderful for discussing what to expect at school and talking about the differences between what we do at home and school.
- Back to School, Backpack by Simon Rich
- In this funny story, you go on the adventure of a backpack that is scared to go to school. Students will giggle along with the backpack’s relatable fears while also practicing problem-solving!
- Yenebi’s Drive to School by Sendy Santamaria
- Get ready for school and commute along with Yenebi in a story that will be recognizable to many of your students, and eye-opening to others. That’s why, this book is a must-read for the Back to School season as it takes a different approach to the anticipation of the first day of school.
More Back to School Fun!
Are you looking for more ways to create community during the first days at school? Check out this set of cooperative learning activities. They are low-prep and high-engagement, perfect for getting to know your students!
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