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Back to School Read Aloud Books

Back to School Read Aloud Books

As back to school time approaches, you know that the first days are all about setting the tone for whole year. Read aloud books are a perfect way to do this!

Coming together to listen to a story helps students feel more comfortable. This makes it easy to start class discussions and get to know your students.

Here are some of my favorite back to school read aloud books.

Back to School Read Aloud Books

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The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

This is a beautiful story about starting the first day of school feeling different, then making connections, and eventually learning to celebrate the differences that make each person unique.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

This book is all about celebrating diversity. At school, it doesn’t matter where you are from, what you look like, or what you eat. All are welcome.

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

This lighthearted story describes the adventures of a sweet kindergarten boy on his first day of school.

Dad’s First Day by Mike Wohnoutka

Oliver is ready to start school, but Dad is feeling a bit nervous. Dad complains that his stomach hurts. He hides from Oliver when they are getting ready to leave. He drives very slowly to school. Meanwhile, Oliver works to reassure Dad that school will in fact be great.

A Busy Creature’s Day Eating! by Mo Willems

This is a hilarious story about a little creature who eats his way through the entire alphabet.

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems

Pigeon is nervous about going to school. Silly Pigeon is not sure what to expect. He has some of the same fears and concerns that many young kids have as they begin school.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

Penelope Rex is excited to meet her new classmates. There’s just one problem. Her classmates are humans, and they look so tasty! Penelope must choose between making friends or eating them.

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

It’s time for a story, but little Chicken has a hard time just listening. Instead, Chicken keeps interrupting by blurting out amended endings to each of the fairy tales Papa is reading.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

It’s tough to be the new kid. When you have a name no one can pronounce, it’s even more difficult. When Unhei begins school in America, she wonders if she should choose a new name. If so, would the other kids accept her?

Enemy Pie by Derek Munsun

This is a sweet lesson about treating others with kindness and respect – even “enemies”.

I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoet

This story is told with simply pictures, so technically it might not count as a read aloud. However, it is sure to lead to some wonderful class discussions about bullying, kindness, and joining together as a community.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

This is a cute story about making friends and helping one another. The anti-bullying message is wonderful for helping to set the tone in your classroom.

Hello World By Kelly Corrigan

This is a book about going out into the world and meeting all kinds of new, different, and interesting people.

A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School by Shannon Olsen

This sweet story comes in the form of a letter written from the teacher to her new students. It shows students that class is a welcoming place where they will be loved by their new teacher.

Our Class is A Family by Shannon Olsen

This book features whimsical illustrations to share the message that the class is a type of family. Students feel safe, can take risks, and be themselves. This book is wonderful for helping to build a classroom community.

My WILD First Day of School by Dennis Mathew

This story is filled with rhyming and funny characters on the first day of school. It invites readers to take risks and try new things.


Add some new read aloud books to your back to school plans and get the year off to a great start.

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Meet Dawn

Hi there! I’m Dawn, the teacher and author behind Polliwog Place. I love creating activities that get students excited about learning. I help busy teachers like you save time by providing engaging, high-quality resources you can use in your classroom today.

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