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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files!

Are you ready for the new school year? Read alouds are a great way to ease some back to school jitters. Here is a list of my favorite back to school books for the first day of school and beyond, plus fun activities too!

Back to School Book #1: 

A Letter From Your Teacher on the First Day of School

by Shannon Olsen

This is the perfect book for not only the first day of kindergarten but any grade! You can help calm those first day jitters with this sweet letter from a teacher to her students. Many of your young learners are nervous and need to know that you care about them and want them to feel comfortable in their new classroom with a new teacher and possibly new friends. 

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 2
back-to-school-books

Students will be able to share something about themselves with you.

You can snag the free file to go along with this book at the end of the blog post. 

Back to School Book #2:

The Recess Queen

by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith

I love this book for the beginning of the year. We use this book for one of our first reading workshop lessons!

Reading lessons for The Recess Queen are available here:

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 3
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 4

Back to School Book #3:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle

This is a great read aloud for kindergarten. I use this simple, printable book to practice counting with students.

The printable book and other activities for Brown Bear, Brown Bear can be found in this unit:

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 5
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 6

Back to School Book #4:

I Walk with Vanessa

by Kerascoët 

Y’all I love wordless books! I Walk with Vanessa is a sweet book about a young girl and her first day with new classmates. Sadly, Vanessa’s first day doesn’t go so well but another little girl notices. The next day, the little girl decides to walk with Vanessa to school and introduce her to friends. This is a great book to talk about feelings and empathy for others. Overall, an adorable book!

There is also a video of this book with music on YouTube. Here is the video for you.

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If you decide to use this book to talk about feelings, here is a free cut and glue activity! You can download this free file at the end of the blog post. 

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 8

Back to School Book #5:

If you Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!

by Elise Parsley

A fun book to surely make your young students laugh.

I’ve used these activities in a listening center but you could also use the printables as a whole-group response to the story.

The listening center activities for this book can be found here:

 

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 9
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 10

Back to School Book #6:

The King of Kindergarten

by Derrick Barnes

A cute story about going to kindergarten and the new experiences that come with it!

There is also a Queen of Kindergarten book! Two great picture books!

Have your students make these crowns to wear so they can be kings and queens of kindergarten. Yet another free file for you!

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 11
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 12

Back to School Book #7:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

by Bill Martin, Jr.

I feel like all kindergarten classroom teachers have the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. These center activities are fun and perfect for the beginning of the year.

There are also reading comprehension activities for this book. You can see more in this blog post:

 

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 13
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 14

I love sharing the video, too! It has a fun little beat.

Back to School Book #8:

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

by Kevin Henkes

Lilly goes to school and loves her new teacher until the first time she gets into a little trouble for having a hard time listening. This is a great story to share with students.

Plus, we have an entire week of free lesson plans and activities for you!

You can snag the free curriculum map and this awesome resource from this blog post: 

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 15
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 16

Back to School Book #9:

Clark the Shark

by Bruce Hale

Your kindergarten and first grade friends will love Clark the Shark and this craft!

Clark the Shark lesson plans and the craft below can be found here:

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 17
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 18

Back to School Book #10:

The Day the Crayons Quit

by Drew Daywalt

A funny book for the beginning of the school year! Share this story and have fun with these color centers:

11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 19
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 20
11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 21

Back to School Book #11:

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

by Mo Willems

Books by Mo Willems are some of my students’ favorite books!

Check out this adorable bus snack you can make to go along with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

I have other activities for this funny story and a free file in this blog post:

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11 Back to School Books and Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade | Plus Printable Free Files! 23

There are so many great books for the first few weeks of school! Check out some other titles and activities by clicking the links below:

What are your favorite children’s books to read during the first days of school? I’d love to hear your book recommendations!

Don’t forget to enter your name and email below so you can receive your free files to go along with these back to school books!

 
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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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4 Responses

  1. Hello! I have just learned about your listen up sets. I hope that you continue to make these for our listening centers. I was given 5 brand new CD players for a listening center!

    Thank you for sharing your talent with everyone!

  2. I would also add to your list – A BUG AND A WISH, to teach kids powerful words to use. 🙂

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