5 Must-Have Read-Alouds for the First Day Of School

Best First Day of School Read Alouds

A new school year means a new classroom, a new teacher, and maybe even a completely new school – and that can come with an overwhelming mix of emotions!

One of the best ice breakers for young students is reading! Books can bring a sense of calm, and even create a distraction from everything that happens on the first day of school! Oftentimes students’ nerves are due to a lack of confidence and sense of security, and providing them with some fun and encouragement can boost their excitement!


These back-to-school read-alouds can be a powerful tool as they bring some humor to the classroom, and can open up conversations (which may even spark new friendships)!  

A book about finding the courage to connect, even when you feel scared or alone, The Day You Begin reminds us we all feel like outsiders sometimes – and sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories with others, they will be happy to meet us halfway! 

Making human friends is hard – when they’re so delicious, that is! We Don’t Eat Our Classmates tells the tale of Penelope Rex, who can’t wait to meet her classmates, but also gets a taste of her own medicine when she finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all! A light-hearted, funny story that your students will be sure to gobble up! 

Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what happens when nobody can pronounce your name? In The Name Jar, Unhei is anxious about fitting in, so instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she decides to choose an American name from a glass jar, but none of them seem to feel right. This one is a classic that encourages students to be themselves and be proud of their background! 

The perfect book for welcoming someone new – or laughing yourself silly, You’re Finally Here is about a bunny bouncing through a range of emotions and showing off just how difficult it is to wait! This funny, energetic, in-your-face story is just right for anyone who needs to practice a little patience when welcoming someone new!

With its heartfelt message and colorfully whimsical illustrations, Our Class is a Family is a book that will help build and strengthen that class community. Students learn that their classroom is a place where it’s safe to be themselves, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s important to be a friend to others.

A classroom library is always great, but sometimes we need to get creative and find ways to keep our students engaged and learning, while we’re getting some work done, too!

In this FREE Virtual Library, you’ll click the book cover to open a video read-aloud of each of the books included. Present these on-screen and tackle some tasks on your to-do list!  

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