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Six great read-alouds for the first week of school

Just a few of the great books available for reading aloud during the first week of school
Just a few of the great books available for reading aloud during the first week of school
Jessica Lawrie

Teachers know the value of an excellent read aloud during the first week of school. Young students, especially, can be nervous, anxious, sad, scared - a whole array of emotions that can leave them needing an escape that a great book can provide.

Here is a list of six books to get teachers and their students through that all-important first week of school. Why six? One for each day plus a back-up in case students need an extra story time during the week. Not only do these books deliver a great story, but they also teach a lesson or two. These books are aimed at Primary students (Kindergarten - Grade 3) but could be adapted for other grades as well.

Chrysanthemum: By Kevin Henkes: A sweet story about a little mouse whose unusual name makes her feel different at school. This changes when she meets her new music teacher, who is also named after a flower. This book provides a good lesson about valuing differences among peers.

Oh, The Places You'll Go: By Dr. Seuss: Typically read to students of all ages at graduation, this story is also great for the first week of school. It reminds students that there are so many possibilities open to them if they work hard and try hard. The repetition and rhyme appeals to young students. Plus, introducing students to Dr. Seuss at the very beginning of the school year is never a bad idea.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: By Mark Teague: This is a fun book about a boy with a big imagination. A class discussion following this story would invariably lead to having the students talk (and maybe even write or draw) about their own Summer vacations.

If You Take a Mouse to School: By Laura Numeroff: Children's books and adorable mice just seem to go so well together. This story will break the ice in the classroom and have students laughing. There are plenty of resources on Pinterest for follow-up activities for this book.

First Day Jitters: By Julie Danneberg: Everyone expects that students will feel nervous on the first day of school, but this book shows them that teachers can be a little nervous too. Reading this book on the first day of school will be a nice way to share with your students that teachers are human too.

We Share Everything: By Robert Munsch: Students of all ages absolutely love the humour of Robert Munsch books. In this story, kids explore the idea of sharing and what should (and should't) be shared.

Teachers should get into the habit of having a daily story time for students right from the beginning of the school year. This list is just a starting point for all the amazing books available for reading aloud. Browse online, shop at the book store, or visit the local library. Enjoy!