Picture Books and the First Few Weeks of School

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Ahh picture books, one of the most un taped resources a teacher can use in his/her classroom.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to picture books for #allthereasons.  
Not only can picture books teach valuable lessons regarding behaviors you are desiring in your classroom BUT they can do so much more.  My friend Courtney : the author behind Ramona Recommends offers the best tips when it comes to using picture books in the classroom.  She has an amazing personal story that shows how she opened the magic as a child and how you and your students can too.
I wanted to offer you a list of Back to School picture books that I find valuable and have tips and ideas on how you can use them to teach procedures/ behavior/ growth mindset/  etc. in your classroom so you can set the stage for the environment you hope to achieve all year long.  
There are so many to choose from but here are some all time favorites of mine that have proven to be great time and time again.

back to school pictures book favorites

back to school read alouds

If you are wanting to teach on growth mindset:

This sweet story has #allthefeels  you will fall in love with Jabari and enjoy his journey of having to be brave.  It's perfect to get discussions going around courage and achieving your goals.

giraffes can't dance growth mindset activity pack

Gerald the giraffe is awesome!  He is fun loving and definitely shifts his mindset over the course of this story - a must read for sure to encourage your students to have the power of yet.

If you want to teach on acceptance and build your classroom community:

Elmer the Elephant craft and activity pack

Elmer is a loveable elephant that doesn't look like the rest of the elephants - he goes through a journey of insecurity and then decides to embrace who he is and what he looks like.  It's a great story to teach accepting others and celebrating differences. 

wonders picture book activities

Another great book to teach your students about empathy and acceptance.  Auggie shares feelings of wanting to belong and feel accepted.

Class rules, blurting out, expectations..

officer buckle craft, book extensions and activities

Officer Buckle is a great person to help you get a conversation started in your classroom about school/class rules.  This is a fun, easy read that will get the kids laughing and thinking.

my mouth is a volcano craft

This book is probably my favorite when it comes to teaching on class expectations and  NOT BLURTING OUT.  This book teaches kids strategies on how to control your tongue and thoughts instead of blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.  

rainbow fish activities

These books are great to get a discussion going about friendship. How to treat a friend, how to share and being mindful of how others around you are feeling.  

If you are looking for great back to school stories to teach alphabet/names,etc. these are wonderful:

chicka chicka boom boom activity pack

Chicka, Chicka, Boom,  Boom is an amazing story to read with your Preschoolers/TK/Kinders/Firsties if you want to have fun with the alphabet!!

chrysanthemum activity pack with name activities

This story is great to talk about names and how important they are, also to embrace all names and teach acceptance.

first day jitters activity pack

Another favorite among teachers and students is for sure:  First Day Jitters.  I think it's important to share that teachers have back to school nightmares and get a little nervous every year to meet their new students as well.  It makes you seem more real and eases their anxiety a bit as well.

swimmy activity pack

Also if you are planning on having your students collaborate often in small groups then Swimmy is the perfect story to teach how we are better when we work together.  It's a sweet story about how Swimmy solves a big problem with the help of his friends.

This is truly a very limited list of great BTS books that you can use for the first few weeks of school.  #therearesomanymore 
I hope it helped a little if you were looking for some quick ideas. 

Just be sure to read all your picture books with enthusiasm and really reinforce the lessons/generate discussions and share the love of reading with your students.
Happy back to school friends,

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