Can you believe we’re already talking back to school? Summer just isn’t long enough, but we need to be ready when we meet our newest, little, adoring faces in the fall! One way to be ready is to have those back to school read-alouds stocked and ready to use those first few days or even weeks of school! A new school year can sometimes be difficult and what better way to engage our young scholars, but by reading and sharing an experience together! Build community and have some fun with these 10 back to school read alouds!

10 Back To School Read Alouds

#1 How to Get Your Teacher Ready by Jean Reagan

Yup, adorable. This is all about how to get the teacher ready for back to school! Let’s face it, you’re probably not that ready either! The kids will relate and connect to you through this humorous read aloud. If you have heard of the “How to…” series, this is one of the collections! The book is full of school activities like picture day and the 100th day of school, all preparing the “teacher,” but of course the students too!

#2 First Day Jitters by Julie Dannenberg

Here’s another one that helps ease those first day jitters by sharing the experience with everyone about what they were nervous about. Spoiler alert- there is a surprise ending when we learn Sarah Jane Hartwell is actually a teacher at a new school! Students will love the twist, connect with the jitters, and this read-aloud will certainly open up some communication and start to build community!

#3 Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen

This book is by far one of my favorites to share during one of your first morning meetings of the year! School is so much more than just academics and this book makes such a beautiful point of this. Building community and working to create a home away from home where the students feel safe, included and loved. This book puts into words exactly how I feel each back-to-school season.

Also, this book is a perfect companion to my favorite back to school craft- click here to check it out!

#4 The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires

Talk about a growth mindset with this one! Lou and her friends are adventurous until one day Lou can’t climb a tree. She makes excuses, procrastinates, but eventually she does climb the tree, and fails. But, it gives her the courage and drive to keep trying! This is a great edition to our back to school read-alouds to begin growing that root of motivation through a growth mindset and encouraging the kids to be like Lou!

#5 The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

 Acceptance is critical in an elementary classroom. Learning about diversity, cultures, and differences is vital to growing as individuals. This book is definitely optimistic and real. It is going to be for every kid who feels different for every reason including skin color, disability, lack of athleticism, shyness, or maybe just moved to a new school. This book reads lyrically and will be a great discussion starter about acceptance in the classroom and finding similarities when they aren’t so obvious.

5 More Back To School Read Alouds To Enjoy

#6 My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook

Another great choice for a read-aloud is My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook! This story is all about learning how to be polite, not interrupt, and learning some coping strategies. Especially when it is just really difficult not to blurt out everything that comes to mind! Louis is a great character example of learning how to deal with emotions and waiting for our turn to speak. This would be another great addition to back to school for building community and procedures!

#7 Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller

Reminding students of their manners during the school year happens a bunch. But this book is another good reminder of simple manners like please, thank you, and excuse me. The play on words with “otters” reading like “others” gives the book a humorous tone and there’s even some words in other languages too! The book has real life situations and would be perfect for the beginning of the school year!

#8 A Letter from Your Teacher: On the First Day of School by Shannon Olsen  

Another one that helps build that foundation for community and welcomes students into your classroom is A Letter from Your Teacher: On the First Day of School by Shannon Olsen. This book is actually written as a letter from a teacher, complete with a blank page for you to sign your name at the end! This letter is all about how you are going to care about the students academically, but also be there for them and support them in their emotional growth and learning.

Don’t lose this opportunity to explicitly share how much you already care about your class and how you can’t wait to grow a positive relationship with each of them! Another super cute back to school craft book companion! Click here!

#9 Teamwork Isn’t My Thing, and I Don’t Like to Share! By Julia Cook

Another one by Julia Cook, but this one is so perfect for introducing group work. It also helps set the  expectations for students working with one another! Sometimes students learn a great deal through a character’s experience and this book is certainly one of those times. Using RJ’s experiences with teamwork and sharing, students will share his frustration, but also learn with him!

This is a great choice for back to school when you are ready to jump into working as groups or tables!

#10 The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neil

We know bullying at recess can be a real big problem. Recess with a new class, in a new grade, with new classmates can be intimidating. Take on recess bullying with Recess Queen. Confront the issue of the playground “queen” head on and discuss some ways to deal with conflict and find resolutions! The kids will relate and let them think about solutions before meeting a problem!


Read Alouds=Successful Beginnings

Back to school can bring the nervous jitters out of everyone, adults included. Read-alouds definitely ease the transition back to school. They provide opportunities to open discussion among the class to start building community, and acceptance. Read alouds ultimately create procedures for your classroom to run like a dream. Try one or all of these read alouds for back to school and have a hugely successful beginning of the year!