Thursday, August 2, 2012

Favorite Beginning of the Year Read Alouds

While I still have a month until I'm back with students, I'm starting to get organized and ready for the start of school.  I've found that it's usually best to start with a story, so here are a few of my favorite beginning of the year read alouds.

Picture Books:
The Awesome Book - Dallas Clayton

This guy is easily becoming my new favorite person.  I love the message behind his words and the simplicity of his poetry.

Officer Buckle and Gloria - Peggy Rathmann

I use this book to spark a discussion on classroom safety and expectations for the classroom community.

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace - James Proimos

Can kids change the world?  You bet! I often use this book as a set up for a Socratic Seminar-esque discussion - "can world peace be achieved through cupcakes?"  Afterwards, I have teams work together to make a batch of cupcakes.

Because Brian Hugged His Mother - David Rice

Actions matter and we are all connected, so be nice.

Do Unto Otters -  Laurie Keller

We're all here for the same purpose.  So, again, be nice.

It's Okay to be Different - Todd Parr

One of my all-time favorites celebrating individuality.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy - Oliver Jeffers

Room 106 is full of voracious readers!

The New Girl...and Me - Jaqui Robbins

An especially good read as friendships start to change in 2/3rd grade and kids aren't always sure how to deal with it.

Squids Will be Squids - Jon Scieszka

This guy is brilliant and another favorite author of mine.  Just a nice little collection of modern fables kids really like.

Oh, The Thinks You Can Think - Dr. Seuss

Think big!

Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

Great book for students who've struggled in learning.  I cannot get through this book without crying at the end.  Never ever.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell

Awesome message on self-confidence!

Horton Hatches the Egg - Dr. Seuss

Good to use when discussing qualities of excellent citizenship. "I meant what I said and I said what I meant.  An elephant's faithful one hundred percent."

Chapter Books:
Sideways Stories From Wayside School - Louis Sachar

I've started this book on the first day of school with my students for the past 5 years.  Kids (and teachers) can easily connect to the characters, however silly they may be.  A great community builder, for sure.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary

Who doesn't love Ramona?!  Cleary accurately captures the different emotions an 8 year old can feel towards his or her family, friends, and teachers.


The First Day of School - Judith Viorst
We all have first day jitters :)

Whatifs - Shel Silverstein
Getting all those worries down on paper helps them to disappear.

Helping - Shel Silverstein
I'm thinking this might pair well with Because Brian Hugged His Mother.

Did I miss any? What are your favorites?


  1. Seamonster's First Day, Kate Messner
    Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Mo Willems


    Eleanor: Quiet No More, Doreen Rappaport
    The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, Dan Yaccarino
    Go, Carolina!, David Sedaris

  2. YES! Thank you for calling me out on no non-fiction. I will add these to my list!