This year I am reading aloud to my students over Google Meet. But I am still relying on my list of favorite picture books to share during the last weeks of School. I hope you find some new favorites here!
Books that share hope & good wishes for the future
~I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I adore this book and it is the last one I read to my students every year. It sends them on their way with your love and best wishes in their mind. It’s not overly sentimental but it gets that positive message across.
~Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
A classic for reminding students that there are so many possibilities in their future.
~Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate
I love any book by Katherine Applegate and this book is no exception. This is a great story about all the milestones and challenges of growing up with the hopeful message of “sometimes you fail — sometimes you fly.”
~Only One You by Linda Krantz
A great little book for reinforcing the message that everyone is unique and has gifts to offer the world.
~Say Something by Peter Reynolds
I love this book. It is a timely reminder to speak up and say something — about injustice and unfairness, about using your voice to share your gifts, about using your voice to share your thinking.
~My Teacher Likes to Say by Denise Brenna-Nelson
A fun book for remembering all the things that teachers say throughout the year. This is a good book for having students to reflect on the “words of wisdom” or advice that various teachers have given, and how those words will be useful to them in their future years.
~The Raft by Jim LeMarche
This is a wonderful book about a boy’s unexpected summer of discovering new interests and talents.
~Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
This is a story about a woman with big dreams, among them to make the world a more beautiful place. It’s a great book for having conversations about what students will do in the future to make the world a better place.
Books with a good story
~Last Day Blues by Julie Dannebergve
This book is part of the “Jitters” series (First Day Jitters, Field Trip Fiasco, Big Test Jitters). It is a cute story about Mrs. Hartwell’s students worrying about their teacher missing them over the summer.
~When It’s the Last Day of School by Maribeth Boelts
This book follows a mischievous little boy named James and how he is determined to be on his best behavior on the last of school.
~Breathe by Scott Magoon
This is a sweet story about a baby whale going out for adventures on his own, but returning to his mom at the end of the day. The reminder throughout the book to pause and breathe is a good lesson for all students (and teachers!).
~Lizzie and the Last Day of School by Trinka Hakes Noble
This book is especially good for younger children. It talks about all the fun throughout the school year, making it a good book for reflecting back on what students most enjoyed and will remember forever. It’s also a good springboard for talking about what students can do on their own for summer learning.
~The Knowing Book by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Another great story about going out into the world and being brave, but also having a safe place to return. It’s a great book for discussing calming strategies to use when you’re feeling anxious.
~My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston
I love this book about the impact a teacher can have on the lives of their students.
~The Last Day of School by Louise Borden
This book does a wonderful job of capturing all of the emotions that go into the last day of school.
Books about the importance of kindness:
~Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
I read this book at the beginning and at the end of the school year. It is a powerful story about how simple acts of kindness make a big difference in the world. At the end of the year, we talk about watching out for the marginalized students in middle school and looking for ways to be kind.
~Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
This is a great story about two boys in 1964 who come face to face with the unfairness of segregation. The story is told from the perspective of the white boy and it is powerful. It’s a great story of friendship and for standing up for what is right.
~The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
This is another title I read at the beginning and at the end of the year. At the end of the year, we use it to discuss how it feels to be alone and like you don’t quite fit in, but how important it is to be brave and to reach out to others.
I hope this list has given you some ideas of great books to share with your students, even from a distance! Please share your own favorites!
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