Sharing my love of literacy

August 26, 2009

Back to School Read Alouds

Here are my three favorite books I have read aloud on the first day of school. I also included the writing activity I have use with each story. All these books can be used in Grades 3 - 5! 
A Fine Fine School by Sharon Creech is a humorous story about a girl who loves school, but then the principal wants the students to come to school more and more. They have to go on the weekends, holidays, and during the summer. Someone has to tell the principal this is just too much school!
After this read aloud, on chart paper, we make a list of reasons why our school is a fine, fine school. Then students write a poem or short paragraph about why they think their school is a "fine, fine school." They publish their writing on paper of a school house I have reproduced. I then hang them outside the classroom for open house.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is the story about a name.
Chrysanthemum thinks her name is perfect until the first day of kindergarten when her classmates laugh at her name. I read this book aloud to talk about feelings and self esteem. As a class we make a T-chart and list how the characters try to make Chrysantemum feel better about her name and how they hurt her feelings. After a class discussion about how we should treat our classmates, I have the class write an acrostic poem using their name. I post them in a bulletin board that I keep up the whole year called, " What's In A Name?"

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a book about how the main character, Sarah, does not want to go to school. It tells the story how her first day jitters as she imagines how the day may go wrong. A cute story with a surprise ending. (This is my personal favorite!)
I read this book first thing in the morning. We talk about the surprise ending and share how each one of us felt before we arrived at school. Then students write a paragraph about their "first day jitters."

Happy First Day of School! 
Happy Reading!