Saturday, August 18, 2012

Picture Books: Back to School

There is no better time to start using picture books in your classroom than the beginning of the school year.  With so many classroom rules and expectations to go over in the beginning of the year, I sometimes felt like the teacher from The Peanuts cartoons- "Wah, Wah, Wah..." lol.  Have any of you ever felt that way?

Tonight, my niece and I were discussing her first day of school and she talked primarily about classroom rules and expectations.  Now don't get me wrong, I know how crucial those are to the success of a school year, but why not throw some picture books that teach rules, responsibility, community, reading habits, etc in there as well.  I know I felt much better about the first few days when I used some great books to reinforce positive behaviors as well as teach a love for reading.

So I wanted to share some picture books to start the year with.  They aren't in any order of preference, just a bunch of ideas of the top of my mind.  I am including books from a variety of levels.  Click on the book image to view them on Amazon.

This is a cute book and it's great for connections because it deals with anxiety toward the first day of school.  It also has a funny surprise ending.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
My next 2 books are by the same author, Karen Beaumont.  They are adorable rhyming books for primary grades.  The first teaches about friendship and that it's ok be unique.  The second goes great with being unique and teaches to be confident about yourself.

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson is a wonderful book with a message about friendship and getting to know people before you judge them.

The next book is a wonderful way to teach an appreciation of our opportunities to be educated.  More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby is fictionalized book about the hardships of young Booker T. Washington and his strong desire to learn.

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter is a fabulous book about a librarian who fears all of her books will be destroyed from the war going on around her.  What a great way to teach students how books are a treasure and the importance of taking care of them.

Every year, we get those children who do not enjoy reading.  Our goal is to find a way to inspire them to love reading.  That's Miss Malarky's goal in the book Miss Malarky Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Finchler.

Making Connections is always a great way to start out the year because it is a skill which comes natural to children because they love to talk about their lives. :)  Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume can be used in many different ways, but MOST kids can spend an infinite amount of time talking about sibling rivalry.  This book is told from two perspectives- Pain (the younger brother) and the Great One (the older sister).  A great book to read with this is My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother by Patricia Polacco.

The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting is such a touching story about a young girl named Ana who teaches her grandmother how to read which is a surprise for her father's birthday.  Children can relate to this book either by learning to read themselves or relationships with loved ones.  They also love the surprise of it being the grandmother.

I am going to wrap up this session of Picture Books with another Eve Bunting book. One Green Apple is a story about a new student who is from a different country.  She has a hard time fitting in because she is so different from everyone else and speaks a different language.  This is a great book to teach about accepting cultural differences.

I hope you enjoyed my small selection of picture books to use in the beginning of the school year.  I could have kept going on and on because there are so many great ones out there.  Be looking for my next installment of picture books in the near future. :)

What picture books do you use to kick off your school year?

1 comment:

  1. I love your book selections! First Day Jitters still makes me laugh after reading it at least 27 times. I'm going to read that and my pick for the first day as well is Pete Rockin' His School Shoes...Gotta love that Pete!
    Owl Things First