Reading Freebie

Free CVC Word Sliders

Take a visual, kinesthetic, and auditory approach to orthographic mapping with these FREE multisensory CVC word activities!

⎯ Reading ⎯

Back to School Books to Calm First Day Fears

Your students are headed back to school, and chances are they are a little nervous! For some of them, it may be the first time they are in a traditional school setting for a full day. One of my favorite ways to calm those first day fears is with the help of back to school books. Through text-to-self connections, students will feel empowered and confident to take on the school year just like many of the beloved characters in these highly engaging read alouds. Pick from this list of 40 back to school books to help calm your students’ first day jitters!

Back to school books are a great way to calm your students first day jitters. Today, I am sharing over 40 back to school read alouds for kids that will help them adjust to their new classroom and get excited about the school year. These back to school books for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade pair great with first week lesson plans, back to school crafts, and more. Find back to school activities and more in this list of back to school read alouds.

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Any purchases made through one of our links earns us a small commission, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All creative ideas and opinions expressed are purely our own. Read our full privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

Back to School Books

Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silvestro

The first day of school usually brings a mixture of emotions. On one hand, it is exciting… but on the other, it’s a little scary too. Rosie can’t wait to start kindergarten. In fact, she has her backpack and school supplies all ready for the first day. But, on the night before kindergarten, Rosie’s tummy begins to hurt. Of course, her mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly. This charming story takes a common figure of speech and transforms it into an easily understood concept.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

The kids in “The Day You Begin” feel a little different and scared when they start a new school or meet new friends. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet. This book shows that even though we may be different, we all have stories to share and things that make us special. By being brave and sharing our experiences, we can make new friends and learn to celebrate our differences.

Recommended Resources:

All About Me Back to School Backpack Craft and Writing Activities Bulletin Board

All About Me Back to School Backpack Craft and Writing Activities Bulletin Board

Back to School The Kissing Hand Craft First Day Feelings Graph and Activities

Back to School The Kissing Hand Craft First Day Feelings Graph and Activities

Name Activities

35 Name Activities and Name Crafts | Editable Name Tracing Name Practice Writing

The Day You Begin
$10.94
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:15 am GMT

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

No matter your race, religion, ability, family makeup and more, all are welcome. The story follows a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. Readers discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.

All Are Welcome
$10.66
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:15 am GMT

You’re Finally Here by Mélanie Watt

This book follows an impatient bunny who hates to wait. At first he’s ecstatic that you, the reader, have arrived. But then he lets you know that waiting for you took too long and was way too boring. The bunny is ready to forgive everything if you’ll promise to stay. He teaches us that sometimes waiting can be tough, but when we’re patient, good things can happen and we can have lots of fun… perfect for welcoming a new group of students!

You’re Finally Here!
$7.59
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:20 am GMT

The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Faizah and her sister Asiya are excited for the first day of school. Asiya wears a bright blue hijab, a symbol of her faith and identity, and Faizah admires her sister’s strength and confidence despite the curious glances and unkind words. Faizah and Asiya remain resilient and proud of their heritage no matter what.

Where Wildflowers Grow by Ha Dinh

After being uprooted from their home in Vietnam, young Hà is happy with her new life at the refugee camp. But, today she is moving to her forever home in America. Leaving means saying goodbye to everyone and everything that she knows. “Where Wildflowers Grow” explores the emotional struggle of moving away from the comfort of familiarity and the joy in discovering there’s always hope in new beginnings.

Where Wildflowers Grow
$11.43
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:31 am GMT

Our Class Is a Family by Shannon Olsen

When the school year begins, the students in “Our Class is a Family” realize they are more than just classmates. With the help of their caring teacher, they learn to support and uplift each other. Through everyday challenges and celebrations, they build strong bonds and create a safe and inclusive environment, teaching valuable life lessons along the way.

Our Class is a Family
$10.79
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:31 am GMT

A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School by Shannon Olsen

What better way to feel welcome on the first day of school than with a letter from your teacher? Students get excited about the school year ahead, as they discover what they will learn and accomplish. This book is wonderful for building positive relationships in the classroom from day one.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Chester Raccoon is apprehensive on his first night at school. His mom shares with him an old family secret that he can take with him. It can help him feel a sense of comfort whenever things might seem a little scary. Delighting young audiences for more than 25 years, it is one of the best back to school books that will give your nervous students a chance to relax and remind themselves that their family (and their teacher) is looking out for them! Plus, it pairs nicely with this “First Day Feelings” raccoon craft and graph!

The Kissing Hand
$11.29
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:53 am GMT

Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim

Although Danbi will be the new girl at school, she is thrilled to start her new school in America. She’s a bit nervous too, especially when everything goes quiet when she walks into the classroom. Danbi wants to join in the activities with her classmates, but she doesn’t know the rules and just can’t seem to get anything right. With perseverance and a little imagination, Danbi invents her own game and leads her classmates on a parade to remember!

Danbi Leads the School Parade
$10.99
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:53 am GMT

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

This is one of my favorite back to school books. No one notices Brian or thinks to include him. It’s like he is invisible, until there is a new kid in the school. When the new boy arrives, Brian is the first person to make him feel welcome. Share this special book about character and kindness with your students to show them how everyone, big or small, shy or confident, can make someone feel welcome.

The Invisible Boy
$10.49
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:58 am GMT

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

A confident young boy navigates his first day of kindergarten in a regal and imaginative way. He is eager to learn and experience all that kindergarten has to offer and can’t wait to tell his parents about his day. This back to school book is the perfect read aloud to encourage and prepare young learners for the school year ahead.

The King of Kindergarten
$10.32
Buy Now
03/08/2024 02:58 am GMT

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

MJ can’t wait for her first day of kindergarten. She enters the classroom with her tiara, confident and ready to take on the school year. But the tiara isn’t just for show. It also reminds her of all the good things she brings to the classroom, stuff like her kindness and friendliness… perfect for empowering students and fostering a positive classroom environment.

The Queen of Kindergarten
$10.46
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:04 am GMT

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

It’s the first day of school, and everyone is a little nervous… even the school itself is filled with first day worries. What will the first day bring? Will the students be nice? Will they like school? It’s a bit of a rough start, but School soon realizes he’s not the only one with first day jitters.

School’s First Day of School
$8.90
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:04 am GMT

Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School! by Christina Geist

It’s just a typical school morning, until all the big people beg the kids to let them go to school too. The fun and repetitive refrain, “Sorry, grown-ups! You can’t go to school! Only kids and teachers! Only kids and teachers!” makes school seem exclusive and desirable… something only kids and teachers get to do!

Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali

Musa’s feeling nervous about his first day of school. He’s not sure he’ll have much in common with his classmates Moisés, Mo and Kevin. But, over the course of the school year, the four boys become the best of friends. In this charming story of friendship and celebrating differences, young readers can discover how entering a new friendship with an open mind and sharing parts of yourself bring people together.

Our Favorite Day of the Year
$13.15
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:10 am GMT

On the First Day of Kindergarten by Tish Rabe

From making new friends to discovering the wonders of the classroom, each part of the first day of kindergarten is filled with joy and adventure. With engaging illustrations and relatable characters, this book serves as a perfect tool to ease kindergarten jitters and introduce children to the magic of learning.

On the First Day of First Grade by Tish Rabe

From the excitement of reuniting with friends to the challenges of new subjects and routines, the children navigate the ups and downs of the first days of first grade. With vivid illustrations and relatable experiences, the book captures the essence of the first grade journey, emphasizing the value of perseverance and the joy of learning.

On the First Day of First Grade
$10.99
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:11 am GMT

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! by Elise Parsley

Magnolia’s teacher just announced a special show-and-tell day at school, and Magnolia is determined to have the best show-and-tell of all. Instead of bringing something ordinary, Magnolia decides to bring an alligator. As expected, chaos ensues as the alligator wreaks havoc in the classroom. Through entertaining illustrations and witty storytelling, the book highlights the importance of making wise choices and the consequences of impulsive actions.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum loves her unique name until she starts school and faces teasing from her classmates. With the help of a compassionate teacher, Chrysanthemum learns to embrace her individuality and celebrates the beauty of her name. Pair this beloved book with my favorite name activities during the first few weeks of school.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Wemberly worried about everything! School was her number one worry until she found someone just like her, a fellow worrier. As with many of these back to school books, your students with anxiety, or those simply nervous about their first day, will find comfort in Wemberly’s story.

Wemberly Worried
$7.00
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:16 am GMT

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate

Miss Bindergarten is always one of my students’ favorite back to school books. Throughout the story, she is busy getting her classroom ready for her 26 students, who, of course, will be starting school soon. The finishing touches come together just before her students arrive on the first day!

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean

Of course, your little learners already know and love Pete the Cat! This time, he is getting to know his new school in his back to school shoes. This sing-songy rhyming favorite will have your kids rockin’ in their school shoes!

Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis

Dexter and his stuffed dog Rufus are nervous for the the first day of kindergarten. The two of them can’t stop asking Jessie, Dexter’s third grade sister, questions. After getting settled, Dexter realizes school is awesome. That is until he loses Rufus. Like many of these back to school books, this one is great for teaching students about overcoming fears and challenges.

Kindergarten Rocks!
$6.99
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:21 am GMT

David Goes to School by David Shannon

David, a mischievous boy, sure likes to test his limits. This story follows David as he navigates the rules and routines of school. The book humorously depicts David’s various antics and rule-breaking behavior, showcasing the challenges faced by both David and his exasperated teacher. Use this story to turn those “No, David!” choices into “Yes, David!” choices with this adorable “Yes, David!” craft and activities!

David Goes to School
$11.89
Buy Now
03/08/2024 09:07 am GMT

The Pout Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen

Pout-Pout Fish is apprehensive about his first day of school. He is nervous about knowing what to do and making mistakes, but he quickly realizes all that school has to offer. This book encourages children to approach new situations with an open mind and a positive attitude.

Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn

Lola is so excited for her first day of school. Her family helps her prepare for the big day by picking out her outfit and getting her supplies ready. She has a wonderful first day, but she is also happy when she is reunited with her mom at the end of the day.

Lola Goes to School
$6.70
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:27 am GMT

Time for School, Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck sees a yellow bus carrying his animal friends on the way to school. He wishes he could be big like the yellow bus so he could take his friends to school. Little Blue Trucks’ wish comes true when he is tasked with taking a friend to school who accidentally missed the bus.

The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems

Pigeon is apprehensive about going to school. He tries to avoid school by coming up with various excuses and expressing his worries about what awaits him. With humor and relatable emotions, the book explores common fears children may have about starting school. Ultimately, the Pigeon discovers that school can be exciting and enjoyable, making it a reassuring and entertaining read for young readers.

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!
$12.98
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:34 am GMT

How to Get Your Teacher Ready by Jean Reagan

Teachers need help transitioning back to school too! Help your kids ease into school by sharing a silly story that shows them you also have to dive back into fall.

How to Get Your Teacher Ready
$9.40
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:35 am GMT

Mae’s First Day of School by Kate Berube

As Mae’s first day of school approaches, she decides she simply is not going to school. School is scary. There are too many unknowns. What if nobody likes her, or she doesn’t know how to write, or she misses her mom? Once at school, she meets Rosie and Ms. Pearl, who work together to conquer their fears.

Mae’s First Day of School
$5.99
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:45 am GMT

Bunny Braves the Day by Suzanne Bloom

It’s the first day of school, and little Bunny feels like something is flopping in his belly. He’s worried. He doesn’t know anyone, or how to tie his shoes, or how to read. Lucky for him, his big sister hops right in to help him tackle his first-day jitters and convinces him that the first day won’t be a horrible disaster.

Georgie Dupree Classroom Confidence by Ceece Kelley

Georgie Dupree loves learning, but on her first day at her new school, she worries if she’ll get lost or if she’ll make friends. With her teacher’s daily classroom affirmations, Georgie learns to use positive thinking and to believe in herself.

School Is Cool! by Sabrina Moyle

It’s the critters very first day of school, and they are all feeling a bit nervous, especially when it’s time to say goodbye to their loved ones. “What will it be like? How to begin? It’s your big day! Will you fit in?” With it’s rhyming text and exuberant characters, young students will be reminded that school is cool.

School Is Cool!
$4.57
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:46 am GMT

First Day, Hooray! by Nancy Poydar

Ivy Green is excited for her first day of school. She prepares by choosing her outfit and packing her backpack. As the big day gets closer, she starts to get nervous. But, Ivy isn’t the only one who prepares and worries. The book also follows the bus driver, janitor, teacher and principal as they prepare for the big day. This is a great read aloud to help students realize that both children and adults face challenges as they take on a new school year.

First Day, Hooray!
$5.65
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:52 am GMT

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

Sarah tries to come up with creative ways to avoid the first day of school. She is scared and knows it will be absolutely awful. With an unexpected twist, it is revealed that Sarah is actually the new teacher, not a student. The book emphasizes the idea that everyone, even teachers, can feel apprehensive about new experiences.

First Day Jitters
$6.00
Buy Now
03/08/2024 03:52 am GMT

We Don’t Eat our Classmates! by Ryan T. Higgins

Penelope, a T-Rex, is excited for the first day of school and to finally meet all of her classmates. But, Penelope struggles to resist the urge to eat her classmates. The book humorously addresses the challenges of fitting in and making friends. Through Penelope’s journey, the book emphasizes the message that everyone deserves respect and friendship, regardless of their differences.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
$9.40
Buy Now
03/08/2024 04:02 am GMT

It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! by Jody Jensen Shaffer

It’s the first day of school and Busy Bus is experiencing some mixed emotions. He is excited, but also nervous, as he worries if the new kids will like him and whether or not he will get lost. Luckily, Busy Bus has bus driver Ben to help him navigate his feelings on the first day. After reading this engaging and lively book, have your students complete this sweet school bus craft.

Little Yellow Bus Erin Guendelsberger

The Little Yellow Bus is so excited to pick up children and bring them to school all by himself! He has been preparing for this day for a long time. But, on the night before the first day, the Little Yellow Bus is filled with worries. With a little encouragement from his mother and father, he starts his engine and decides to face the day with bravery and confidence.

Little Yellow Bus
$11.09
Buy Now
03/08/2024 04:14 am GMT

This School Year Will Be the Best! by Kay Winters

It’s the first day of school, and the students are excited to share what they would like to have happen. They share all sorts of ideas, including silly things, realistic things and a few far-fetched ideas on what they would like to experience throughout the school year. As the first day draws to a close, there can be no doubt that this school year will definitely be the best!

Activities for Back to School Books

Pair any of these back to school books with your favorite back to school crafts and activities! Here’s a quick peek at a few of my favorites…

Integrate math with this raccoon craft, as you create a “First Day Feelings” graph… the perfect craft to go along with one of our favorite back to school books for the first week of school!

Back to school books are a great way to calm your students first day jitters. Today, I am sharing over 40 back to school read alouds for kids that will help them adjust to their new classroom and get excited about the school year. These back to school books for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade pair great with first week lesson plans, back to school crafts, and more. Find back to school activities and more in this list of back to school read alouds.

Celebrate the first day of school with this easy-to-assemble back to school pencil craft and self-portrait drawing activities!

Back to school books are a great way to calm your students first day jitters. Today, I am sharing over 40 back to school read alouds for kids that will help them adjust to their new classroom and get excited about the school year. These back to school books for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade pair great with first week lesson plans, back to school crafts, and more. Find back to school activities and more in this list of back to school read alouds.

Get to know your students with this adorable backpack craft! Each of the 28 pages has just the right amount of writing for your little learners!

Back to school books are a great way to calm your students first day jitters. Today, I am sharing over 40 back to school read alouds for kids that will help them adjust to their new classroom and get excited about the school year. These back to school books for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade pair great with first week lesson plans, back to school crafts, and more. Find back to school activities and more in this list of back to school read alouds.

Turn those “No, David!” choices into “Yes, David!” choices, as you establish your classroom rules, with these David Goes to School craft and activities!

Review classroom rules and encourage positive behavior during the first week of back to school with these David Goes to School activities and craft for preschool, kindergarten and first grade! Perfect for a back to school bulletin board display! Plus, practice the alphabet, rhyming, counting, numbers, 2D shapes and more with the eight math and literacy activities and centers! Tackle classroom management, routines and procedures, as you turn those "No, David!" choices into "Yes, David!" choices!

Honor your students and their names with these interactive name crafts!

Discover a full list of name activities, including name puzzles, name crafts, name poems, name graphs and more! Students will practice fine motor skills, as well as tracing their name, with these name practice activities and name tracing mats. Plus, these name crafts make the perfect back to school bulletin boards. Students not only get to practice name writing and building their name, but they also practice math skills. Pair these name activities with any of your favorite name books for kids!

More Back to School Activities

Establish classroom rules, routines and procedures with this list of 45 back to school books to teach rules!

Teaching students about classroom rules & classroom routines and procedures just got a whole lot easier with this ultimate list of back to school books about rules! These read alouds will help with classroom management as you review classroom procedures with your elementary students. You can pair these back to school books for kids with your favorite back to school activities. Students learn how to take care of classroom supplies, kindness, and all about following directions and listening.

Celebrate your students’ individuality with one of the name books on this list!

Looking for name books for back to school that you can incorporate into your first week lesson plans? To celebrate our uniqueness, I am sharing 25 name books for kids that are great for getting to know you activities and building classroom community in your early elementary classroom. Use these name books, including Chrysanthemum and The Name Jar, with a variety of name activities for preschool and kindergarten. Add these kids books to your beginning of the year lesson plans!

DON’T FORGET IT… PIN IT!

Back to school books are a great way to calm your students first day jitters. Today, I am sharing over 40 back to school read alouds for kids that will help them adjust to their new classroom and get excited about the school year. These back to school books for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade pair great with first week lesson plans, back to school crafts, and more. Find back to school activities and more in this list of back to school read alouds.
Back to school books are a great way to calm your students first day jitters. Today, I am sharing over 40 back to school read alouds for kids that will help them adjust to their new classroom and get excited about the school year. These back to school books for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade pair great with first week lesson plans, back to school crafts, and more. Find back to school activities and more in this list of back to school read alouds.
Ashley Sharp Pos Bio Image

Ashley Sharp

As a dedicated Kindergarten teacher for nearly 20 years, I believe the words “fun, play, and creativity” can sit right alongside the words “developmentally appropriate, engaging, and rigorous.” Learning is meant to be fun and messy!

More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.