As a literacy coach, I try to offer valuable support to the classroom teachers during the first few weeks of school. This year, I compiled a list of possible read aloud books for the opening days of the school year. Although there are so many other wonderful titles I wanted to include, I limited my list to only those titles I had on hand, either in my personal collection or in our school library. The books were stacked in my office, readily accessible to teachers. All they had to do was walk in and grab one. Here are the books and notes I shared with the teachers:
Books to Help You Create a Positive Classroom Climate
There are some big messages in this book. I would imagine this book leading to a discussion about how our words matter, or maybe about appreciating our unique gifts, or maybe how about it is not necessary to be perfect. Lots of messages in this one. This book might also give your students some new language this year, using ‘ish’ words like the character in the book.
Hello, My Name is Ruby
by Philip C. Stead
This is a feel good story about finding friends in all sorts of places. It is probably geared more towards primary kids. A simple story with a good message.
This is a great beginning of the year book if you are looking to set a climate of positive attitude. This book is about how our perspective and attitude make all the difference. Plus, you will love the ending.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
by Peter Brown
There was a lot of buzz among book enthusiasts for this one last year. Mr. Tiger learns the importance of being true to himself. The kids will love this one – perfect for any age!
Books to Help You Jump Start your Workshop
by Kate Banks
If a section of your writer’s notebooks are dedicated to collecting words, this book is a must read. This book is also a great start to a discussion about the wonder of words, or even to kick off your year of vocabulary study.
Ralph Tells a Story
by Abby Hanlon
This book really made the rounds last year, but it is worth repeating. This is the ultimate book for Day #1 of writing workshop. Ralph learns that stories are everywhere! A must-read for kindergarteners, I think!
Wordless Picture Books
Please browse through my stack of wordless picture books. These books are great for the opening days of school. They are completely accessible to the primary kids (no words!), and most of them are complicated enough in story for the older kids. You can use these books to teach your turn-and-talk routines since the kids will be bursting at the seams to talk about the unfolding story. If you want to start off the year teaching kids how to talk about their thinking, grab one of these books! Kids could even do some writing afterwards.
The Boys by Jeff Newman – I do not want to say too much about this book because it will ruin your reading experience. Highly recommended.
Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley – Adorable Hank finds an egg. What will he do with it? Recommended for primary age.
Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman & Kevin Hawkes – This one will require multiple readings. You will want to linger over the illustrations.
Journey by Aaron Becker – Go on a journey with the young girl in the red boat. You will want to go again and again. There is a lot to to talk about and look at with this book. The kids will want it in their hands when you are finished.
Mr. Wuffles by David Weisner – Recommended for intermediate and junior high. I had to read this book multiple times. The kids will need to linger with the illustrations and discuss this one. It is more than meets the eye.
If you have a favorite read aloud book for the beginning of the year, please share the title in the comments section below! I hope your school year is off to a great start!
Literacy Coach, Reader, Writer