Back to School Books for Week 1: All About School

Below are the books we will be reading for the first week back to school. My district goes back to school the last full week of August, so we will be focusing on “Back to School” topics for the first three weeks of school. The following books focus on school supply vocabulary, people and places at the school, as well as school actions and rules.
Incase you missed the intro to this series, click below to catch up:

First Day Back:

You’re Finally Here by Melanie Watt
This is the PERFECT book to start off the first day of school. As teachers, we prepare for MONTHS for back to school time. When the students finally arrive on the first day it’s so exciting! We usually have circle time shortly after the students arrive and eat breakfast/complete morning routines, so I plan to read it to them at the beginning of this group time. 

Literacy Activities:

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books
I love using this book at the beginning of the year to review school supply vocabulary. We complete comprehension activities, sequencing activities, & math activities based around this book. 
Pete the Cat: Rockin’ in my School Shoes by Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat rocks my socks. This book was a hit last year, ALL YEAR, and I know it will be a hit again this fall. I love using this book to review school places (classroom, library, cafeteria) and actions (reading, writing, adding, etc.). It’s also a great social skills lesson on worrying and staying calm. 


David Goes to School by David Shannon
Poor David just can’t catch a break in this story. We will be reading this story and using it in conjunction with some of my social stories to discuss proper school behavior, and good choices versus poor choices. 
Social Stories from my TPT Shop:

Transition Books:

I love reading books during longer transitions, such as before lunch, after recess, packing up, etc. Below are some fun books that go along with the literacy lessons for the week, and are just the right length for reading (5 minutes). 

Monsters Love School by Mike Austin
My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil (Different People in the School)
I would only read 1-2 pages at a time during a transition for this book, then let the students look at the picture that goes along with the page. 
School Bus – Donald Crews
Pete the Cat: Wheels on the Bus – James Dean
We will be reading this short books right before we make school buses for art and for our cooking activity on Friday.
Friends at School – Rochelle Bunnett
This is a cute book to show different actions at school. 
We will be these Back to School Interactive Vocabulary Books books from Speech Room News during literacy centers and transition times as well. 

Book Activity:

Follow the Line to School – Laura Ljungkvist
Last year, we did weekend remnants where the students brought in an artifact from their weekend (restaurant receipt, picture, movie stub ticket, toy box, etc.). Their parents would write a note with the remnant and we would do a little show and tell every Monday to discuss what each did over the weekend. It’s a great activity for building language and connections between students. For the first week of school, I will have the students bring a remnant from the summer to show off. Follow the Line is a great book to read before we introduce our Summer Remnants, as the book ends with “Follow the line back to the classroom, it’s Show and Tell time!” 

The first week of school is so important for setting the stage for the rest of the school year. I love that each of the books on this list are getting the students back in “school mode” while keeping the material fun. I will be going in depth about what I have planned for my literacy lessons and centers once we get close to school, I just wanted to give ya’ll a chance to check these books out and give you plenty of time to check them out at the library or purchase them before you will need them. Be sure to come back tomorrow to read about what we will be reading during the second week of school!


  1. Kelly T. on July 2, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I love this! Will you be doing different weekly themes all year (and will you be posting about them)? Also, do you have a letter or anything that you send home to parents about the "weekend remnants"? I also ask my kids what they did over the weekend, and always get "I don't know!" or "I can't remember!" Thank you!

    • Gabrielle Dixon on July 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I'm definitely planning on posting our book lists all year long! I do use a letter – I'll be sure to post it soon! 🙂

    • Ashley King on July 5, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      I was going to ask the same question about a letter home to parents! 🙂 It's extremely difficult to get my parents involved with things we are doing in the classroom. I plan on pushing it from day one next year!

  2. Years That Ask Questions on September 20, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Just wanted to say I used a ton of these books for my first week of resource services. My kids LOVED "You're Finally Here!"… they were really upset to hear I just had it out from the library and didn't own it.

    Years That Ask Questions

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