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Back to School Books Must Reads

I read tons of picture books during the first days of school. Picture books are great for teaching many social skill lessons during that first week. Here are five back to school books you must read at the beginning of the year.

Back to School Books for Kids


The Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon is a longer picture book that can be read over a couple of days or even a week. It is chock full of great advice for kids when dealing with negativity and overcoming challenges. It gives practical advice for how kids can deal with bullies and how to not let them affect your attitude. Even adults benefit from this book! (The author actually has the adult version that I’m reading this summer.)

First Day of School Read Aloud


The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi is a beautiful book about respecting names and accepting your own. The main character decides she wants to change her name to an “American” sounding name to better fit into her new school. So she withholds telling the class her Korean name. We learn a powerful lesson when the name jar disappears.

Back to School Read Alouds


Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson is a story with a not so happy ending but a lesson that kids need to learn. It is a story that teaches us that our actions cause a ripple effect. And even small acts of kindness are important. I love using this story to teach kids that our words and actions are powerful. They have a ripple effect and cannot be taken back once they are put out into the world. I do a heart activity with this book at the beginning of the school year. You can read about that here.

Books to Read on the First Day of School


The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig is an important back to school book to read. After being off all summer kids tend to gravitate towards the familiar and stick with their friends. This book shows us how important it is to put effort into including others and making them feel welcome. Great conversations come out of this read-aloud about how to make sure no one is feeling left out.

Funny Picture Books for Back To School


Unlike the other books, this book by Elise Parsley is a funny book that I like to use to introduce the share portion of Morning Meeting. I read the book before going over the rules and procedures of share time. It’s a fun way to discuss appropriate sharing topics as well as things they might want to bring in to share.

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