10 Back-to-School Read Alouds to Teach With

books teaching Jul 11, 2018

Using books to teach or enhance lessons brings a richness to everything we teach and makes the lessons more memorable. Stories embed in our memories better than facts alone. One of the things all of these books have in common is they teach a lesson in a fun way without being preachy. Each book can be used to teach about reading and writing as well.

I put a few suggestions for writing by each book. There are certainly plenty of other ways to use them, but these are a start. All of these books can be used for ideas for writing- new ending or beginning, write about a similar topic or from a different point of view, compare/contrast these characters to themselves, retelling, beginning, middle and end... This is a good place to begin the year in our writing instruction to get student started and be successful right away.


Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes (using type style and size effectively, sentence fluency)

Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency)

My Teacher Sleeps in School by Lettie Weiss (ideas)

The Art Lesson by Tomie de Paola (problem solving, ideas)

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg (ideas)

How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague (ideas, organization)

Decibella and Her Six Inch Voice by Julia Cook (voice, ideas)

Friendship and Such

Any Gerald and Piggie Story from Mo Willems (voice, ideas, using type style/size) Try: Can I Play Too? My New Friend is So Fun!

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (ideas, organization)

Me First by Helen Lester (sentence fluency, organization)

Happy reading,



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