We’ve always believed that first impressions have a way of setting the tone and giving shape to our classroom culture. While there are always a million things to do on the first day of school, we like to ease students into the year by starting with one of our favorite icebreakers: read alouds. Narrowing down our favorite books to a list of five was difficult, but here they are in no particular order.
5 of Our Favorite Read-Alouds for the First Day of School
Miss Rumphius is the story of Alice Rumphius, who vowed as a young child to do three things in her life: travel to faraway lands, live by the sea, and make the world a more beautiful place. To fulfill her third vow, Alice scatters lupine seeds wherever she goes so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of these flowers long after she is gone.
Miss Rumphius is an ideal read for both the first and last days of school. The illustrations are beautiful and the message challenges students to consider what they can do to make the world a better place. To remind students of this challenge, we like sending them off with a packet of lupine seeds.
First Day Jitters
Regardless of whether you’re a first-year or veteran teacher, you probably experience that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach the night before your first day of the school.
Like Sarah Jane Hartwell, the character from First Day Jitters, many of our students feel anxious about beginning a new school year, too. With the encouragement of Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane conjures up the courage to go to school where things turn out not to be nearly as bad as she thought they would be—quite the opposite, actually!
Oh, the Places You’ll Go takes the form of a graduation speech, so it’s the perfect companion for the end of the school year. Like Miss Rumphius, though, Oh, the Places You’ll Go can pull double-duty and work just as well for the first day of school.
In typical Dr. Suess fashion, students will rhyme their way through a series of playful, yet empowering pages reminding them that are the masters of their ship; they have the “brains, the shoes and the feet” to take them where they want to go this year.
The Kissing Hand
Like Chester Raccoon, many of our younger students struggle with separation anxiety. To quell his first-day-of-school blues, Chester’s mother shares “the Kissing Hand,” a family secret that gives him a bit of reassurance he can tap into any time the world gets a little scary.
The Teacher From the Black Lagoon is the hilarious tale that takes readers into the mind of Hubie, a student who lets his imagination about his new teacher get the best of him. Surprise, surprise! when Hubie finally gets to school, things turn out a lot different than he imagined they would.