The first weeks of school are always my favorite time of year. We are encouraged to stay away from curriculum and build a positive and caring classroom community. It’s time to lay down the foundation for the year, set procedures in place, and most importantly, get to know your students.
I love using picture books the first weeks of school to create lessons for my students’ social skills. There are many classic picture books that I use every year to meet this goal. Some of those include Peanut Butter and Cupcake!, Enemy Pie, My Mouth is a Volcano, and Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. However, I went on a search this summer for new books that I haven’t used. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love new books!
We’re All Wonders
This instant classic inspires kindness and acceptance in all readers. This book is my favorite new addition. This is the picture book version for young readers of the chapter book Wonders by R.J. Palacio. Be sure to visit the accompanying website for classroom resources and to see how to become a certified kind classroom, https://wonderthebook.com/for-teachers. Click HERE to check it out on Amazon.
The theme of kindness continues in this picture book. Students will be inspired by this read aloud and will be shown how little acts of kindness matter a lot. I particularly like how the author of this book gives specific examples of how to be kind to others; from using someone’s name, to giving away your too-tight shoes, and sticking up for someone when other’s aren’t being nice. Click HERE to check it out on Amazon.
Pig the Winner
How adorable is this pug?! Those eyes! I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I can’t help it when it includes a picture of an irresistibly cute dog. Even better, there are other titles in this series that you can add to your library collection! In this story, Pig (the pug), is known for cheating and being a sore loser. This is a perfect book to use when discussing sportsmanship in the classroom and on the playground, teaching students to play fairly and to win or lose with grace. Pig the Winner, by Aaron Blabey, is sure to be a student favorite. Click HERE to check it out on Amazon.
Most students love animals, and what is not to love about Wordy Birdy?! This story is about a bird who loves to talk, A LOT. However, she finds it difficult to listen to others. This book will be fun to read aloud and is very engaging for students, I can already hear the voice changes for the different characters! Use Wordy Birdy, written by Tammi Sauer, if you need to teach a lesson on the importance of listening to others. Click HERE to check it out on Amazon.
Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the Cafeteria
The illustrations and imagined metaphors caught my attention in this book. For example, the class is a line of hungry ants. This story lends into conversations about anxiety and fears with unfamiliar situations. In this case, the unknown is the school cafeteria. Kyle, the main character, does break all of the cafeteria rules, but in the end he discovers that the cafeteria lunch was delicious and he has nothing to fear. Click HERE to check it out on Amazon.
More Back to School Ideas
Are you looking for more fun activities for those first couple weeks of school? Check out these posts!
Have a Not So Wimpy day!