The back to school season should be filled with tons of read-alouds and discussions. In this post, I am going to share with you my top back to school read alouds and what activities to do with them!
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
This is a sweet back to school read-aloud about a man who lives on a street where everything is the same. Then, an orange splot comes and changes it up. The lesson is that being unique is the way to be!
We do a lesson where students make a dream house, which will teach you so much about their likes and interests. Then, as a class, we make a dream classroom. What would it look like? Feel like? etc. This is a great way to learn what your students want to see in your classroom that year.
Lastly, you can have the kids interview each other and find what their uniqueness is!
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
This is one of the best back to school read-alouds because it talks about how students don’t always have to be perfect, they just have to do what they love and try their best. Can you imagine a better message?
After reading, we go around the room silently and write down any questions we may have. We also write down what makes the classroom “perfectish” for us or what could make it more “perfectish”!
Then, have your kiddos make some “ish” art like the book!
Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
Do Unto Otters is the perfect back to school book to talk about friendship. While reading, we go over all the characteristics of a good friend and how we can apply that to our classroom!
We go over scenarios they may see in the classroom and how we would respond like a good otter. For example, “A student took a pencil and marker out of a kid’s desk because they didn’t have what they needed, but they never asked.” Then we would discuss what we would do to match the characteristics of the book.
Almost Late to School by Carol Diggory Shields
Almost Late to School is a poetry back to school read-aloud! There are tons of poems about back to school inside!
After reading, we write a class poem that talks about what we want to be like as a class.
We also write friendship poems to discuss what type of friends we want to be.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Hands-down one of the best back to school read-alouds for upper elementary!
In this book, the girl creates a magnificent thing after being told she could not! We use this as an introduction to STEM and other group work type assignments.
When we are done reading, students use recycled materials to create their own magnificent thing!
This is also a great place to discuss emotions and how to handle them in the classroom! I do this through emojis!
Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students from Around the World by Miranda Paul
Culture is such an important part of your classroom and should be discussed from the very beginning of school. This picture book is a great way to begin that discussion.
After reading, my kids take home a culture survey in which their parents answer many questions about their culture and their values. The students use that information to create their own culture posters which can be showcased to their classmates.
Want that culture survey for free?! Put your email below!
What makes a great back to school read aloud?
*Makes kids laugh and engaged
*Has a message that leads to great discussions
*Shows what you believe in for your classroom
Want all the lesson plans, discussion questions, and materials prepped and ready for you?!
Grab the entire unit here which includes everything you need to use with these read-alouds for an amazing lesson!