Sometimes it seems like fifth graders are getting too big for some of the tried and true classroom strategies – but I’m here to say that they aren’t! They love a good read aloud from their teacher and the rapt attention they give while listening proves it. If you are looking for the best back to school picture books for 5th grade, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 5 of my favorites…
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WHY USE PICTURE BOOKS?
Picture books are the perfect way to introduce and idea or topic in a quick, meaningful, and fun way. Students of all ages love to be read to, and reading aloud is an important part of literacy instruction! These back to school picture books can be used in a variety of ways, but I have found them to be an important component of my beginning of the year lesson plans. Each one has multiple ideas to be explored and many ideas that lead to powerful classroom discussions.
back to school picture book and activity #1
Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes, is a classic story about loving yourself and being who you are. The main character (Chrysanthemum) loves her beautiful name! But kids at school start to tease her about it and she starts to wonder if it’s really that great. Luckily, her teacher knows just how to make her feel right at home.
Try reading Chrysanthemum with your class, and then talking about why it’s important to be yourself!
Grab the book here.
After you’ve read the story with your class and talked about the importance of being yourself, keep the learning going with this collaborative poster and extension activities!
back to school PICTURE BOOK AND ACTIVITY #2
The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson, is a sweet story about loving what makes you unique and making connections with others. Even when we feel like outsiders, pushing forward and finding others to make friendships with is an important part of growing up. This story reminds readers to share their story, even when it seems too scary.
Try reading The Day You Begin with your class, and then talking about how sharing our stories helps us connect with others!
After you’ve read this book with your class and talked about sharing stories, keep the learning going with this collaborative poster and extension activities!
PICTURE BOOK AND ACTIVITY #3
Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry is the perfect story about “stick”ing together! Stick and Stone are all alone until they find each other and become fast friends. What will happen when they get separated?? Find out with your class!
Try reading Stick and Stone and then talking about how friends (and classmates!) stick together.
Grab the book here.
After you’ve read this book with your class and talked about friendship and sticking together, keep the learning going with this collaborative poster and extension activities!
PICTURE BOOK AND ACTIVITY #4
Those Shoes, by Maribeth Boelts, has a great message about generosity and kindness. Jeremy really wants a pair of THOSE shoes – you know, the ones everyone has? But his Grandma knows he needs new boots for winter. Jeremy ends up finding a pair of the shoes, but they aren’t exactly what he expects – and he notices Antonio’s shoes are falling apart. Jeremy knows how he can help, and those winter boots sure do come in handy at the end!
Try reading Those Shoes and then talking about kindness, generosity, and making the tough decisions!
After you’ve read this book with your class and talked about kindness, keep the learning going with this collaborative poster and extension activities!
PICTURE BOOK AND ACTIVITY #5
All Are Welcome, by Alexandra Penfold, has become my first day of school staple! This is a book about making everyone feel welcome regardless of where they come from, what they eat, what they like or don’t like, or what kind of family they have. The book follows a group of children through their day at school and at home. It has an easy to follow rhyming structure and beautiful illustrations!
Try reading All Are Welcome and then talking about how to build a welcoming community of learners in your class.
After you’ve read this book with your class and talked about making everyone feel welcome, keep the learning going with this collaborative poster and extension activities!
These back to school picture books are tried and true in my classroom – they are loved by my students and myself! I hope your students enjoy them as much as mine do.
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