Top 5 Back to School Read Alouds

The first week of school is such an exciting time of year for both teachers and children. Before I dive deep into curriculum, I like to spend the first week building relationships, getting to know one another, and enjoying great literature. My top 5 back to school read alouds have changed over the years, but some remain the same. I will share which stories I read and why I picked them on that first critical week of school.

5 back to school read alouds

#1 First Day Jitters

First Day Jitters has remained my number one first day of school read aloud. I love to give my students jitter glitter at open house which happens before the first day. I also have a little poem that I wrote to help them take their worries away. It is a great story to show your class that teachers get nervous too. We talk about what gives us the jitters and what helps us take the jitters away. We read the book, make jitter jars, and get to know one another.

#2 The Day You Begin

The Day You Begin is a new story that I have fallen in love with. It beautifully illustrates how we are all different and it is important to share our stories. We will make connections, get to know one another, and focus on how special we are. For this read aloud, students fill out a sheet about the day they begin, make themselves on the craft paper topper, and play a few games.

The Day You Begin activities

#3 The Pigeon Has to go to School

The Pigeon Has to Go to School is a story I have been reading for a few years now. This story is hilarious and the kids LOVE any pigeon story. I love to read this on the 3rd day of school and revisit how they are feeling about being in school. We make the pigeon craft too and a class book that we keep in our library all year long.

The Pigeon Has to go to School activities

#4 If You Take A Mouse To School

One thing I love to do is introduce characters and revisit them throughout the year. If You Take a Mouse to School is a fun story to introduce the mouse to the students. For this story, we talk about different parts of our day, review our letters, and play a few games. I have also included a puzzle activity and sort that make fun extensions or perfect morning tubs.

#5 Froggy Goes To School

I always end the week with Froggy Goes to School. Who doesn’t love Froggy? The kids crack up because he dreams he is going to school in his underwear. We love to make Froggy, read along with the mini book, and play games.

Whatever back to school read alouds you choose for the first week of school, just make sure to build relationships with your students and get to know them.

If you don’t already have a copy of these books, you can shop for them in my Amazon store and view even more of my favorite books for the first week of school. (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

For more great back to school activities (and a freebie) read all about my favorite First Day of School Activities or see what I have planned for the Second Week of School.


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I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.

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