• Rebecca Carlisle Cothern

What Books are You Reading the First Week of School?


Books are such a great tool to use in the classroom. So, start the year off right with some great books for back to school. Today I'm going to highlight 3 favorite picture books to read during the first few days of school. I will be showcasing some great activities you can do with each book to bring in more learning and utilize these books to their full potential.

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?

First, let's look at "How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?". This is a great book showing appropriate and inappropriate behavior at school. You can extend this book in several ways. Below are a few fun activities to do with this book.

1. Create a class graph showing how each student will go home from school.

2. Dinosaur Behavior T-chart. Have a discussion about how we should behave in the classroom.

3. Have students act out verbs from the story. These can be called "Dinosaur Verbs". Use these verbs to discuss parts of speech, action words, imagery, etc.

4. Dinosaur Hats. This is just a fun activity for students to pretend to be characters from the book and practice different behaviors.

Get all of these activities plus 2 more by purchasing my "How do Dinosaurs Go to School?" a compilation of book extension activities.

David Goes to School

David is a beloved character who seems to always be getting in trouble. Can David do any better in school? You can extend this book in several ways. Below are a few fun activities to do with this book.

1. 6 Different Behavior Management Posters featuring the David character.

2. This story is written from the teacher's point of view. Use work pages to write things teachers say and things students say. Would the story be different from the student's point of view?

3. Older students (Gr. 2/3) reading this book can make inferences, on whether the teacher likes or dislikes David. What evidence can they find in the book to support their inference?

4. Younger students (Gr. PreK-1) can draw a picture of themselves on the first day of school. The character of David is very simply drawn helping students feel confident in their own drawings.

Get all of these activities plus 3 more by purchasing my product "David Goes to School" a compilation of book extension activities.

The Kissing Hand

It is Chester's first day of school, and he's a little nervous about leaving his mom. But Chester's mom has a great way to help him get through the school day. You can extend this book in several ways. Below are a few fun activities to do with this book.

1. Kissing Hand Poster & Writing Page. After reading the story help students make a personal connection about something hard they had to do that they really didn't want to do. How did they do it? How did it make them feel?

2. Another activity to help students relate to Chester is to have them write or draw about a time when they felt lonely. Then have them write or draw about a time when they felt loved.

3. Identifying and understanding character traits is an important reading skill. Have student identify different character traits of both Chester and Mrs. Raccoon. Compare and contrast these character traits using a Venn Diagram.

4. This art project is a perfect way to extend the book. Have students cut out the hand and glue down the 3rd and 4th fingers to say "I Love You" in sign language. Then have students add a heart to the palm and glue the hand with the cute saying. Use these for a bulletin board, a card to send home on the first day of school, or to save in a memory book.

Get all of these activities plus 4 more by purchasing my product "The Kissing Hand" a compilation of book extension activities.

I hope you have enjoyed checking out these fantastic products. Hopefully you have found something to help you get through the first week of school, maybe even the first month of school! What other activities do you do during the first week of school? Leave comments below. If you need other back to school activities check out my whole store Family and Child Development Lab.


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© 2013 by Rebecca Carlisle Cothern. All rights reserved.