Teaching young children to write how to books is one of my favorite things! From the beginning of the year, kindergarten students are ready to tell kindergarten teachers how to do things! Using fun books from your classroom library as mentor texts is a fun way to build how to writing exercises into your lesson plans. Let’s dive into some of my favorite picture books to use for our young readers and writers!
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First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
First Day Jitters Is one of the best read-aloud books for the first day of kindergarten or first grade. It follows a new teacher to her first day of school. She has all of the first-day-of-school jitters that younger children feel the first time they head to a new classroom. It is a delightful book for your first week of school to talk about making new friends and getting used to new routines, but it is also a great example to use as a mentor text for how to writing.
Use the book to make an anchor chart on how to start the school year. Ask the young learners in your classroom some questions.
- How do you make new friends at the beginning of the school year?
- How do you find the bathroom at your elementary school?
- How do you behave if there is a fire drill?
How to Catch the Tooth Fairy by Adam Wallace
How to Catch the Tooth Fairy Is another great book to use as a mentor text with young students when looking for how to books for kindergarten and first grade. It is also a great way to generate ideas for your kindergarten kids or first grade classroom. This is one book from an entire series of How to books.
Kindergarten readers will enjoy making some predictions on how to catch the tooth fairy as you preview your reading. Model your wondering by sparking a child’s imagination by asking the simple question – how can you catch a tooth fairy? Make a mentor poster with a list of steps on how to catch the tooth fairy.
Be sure to check out the other books in this series, especially for holidays! My kids love How to Catch a Witch, How to Catch a Turkey, and How to Catch a Snowman. Be sure to add these to your class library!
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen
The Pout-Pout Fish Is another great series of books. With their colorful illustrations, they make the perfect addition to your classroom library and read-aloud collection. I chose this one about going to school since it is a great way to start the year. It is a delightful book to read aloud to your students.
In this story, the main character is nervous about going to school for the first time. Kindergarten children can relate! This is one of the best kindergarten books as this adorable picture book is about how to do things at school. Mr. Fish is worried about how to write his name, how to draw shapes, and how to do math.
It is a good read to add to your writing mentor texts. Use this one as a solid foundation for creating an anchor chart about how to do things at school. Ideas could be how to come into the classroom in the morning, how to behave in the hallway, how to get your lunch in the cafeteria, etc. There are so many new things to learn at school!
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Where the Wild Things Are Is a classic tale by Maurice Sendak and a great one to add to your how to books for kindergarten and first grade. This is also a great one to add to your early reading list. In this book, Sendak takes us into the world of a young boy named Max with beautiful illustrations. It brings to life a child’s imagination and the world of monsters or “wild things” that come alive at night. They end up having quite a good time together!
This is a great way to spark a conversation about how to tame the monsters that come awake at night. Consider using the read aloud on the first day making predictions based on the book cover. After your first read aloud, create an anchor chart on how to interact with monsters or scary things in your own dreams. Kids can create their own drawings and one or two sentences about the wild things in their imaginations. Five and six year olds can definitely relate to Max!
David Goes to School by David Shannon
David Goes to School is a great book by David Shannon. The David books are great children’s books to stock in your kindergarten classroom. I keep this one in my tub of back to school books. In this silly story, David is up to his usual antics, a little boy wreaking havoc in the classroom.
This is a great book to introduce new classmates and social skills at the beginning of the year. Talk to your students about how David behaved and create your own list of class rules and expectations. I also like to create a kindness pledge during this period to begin to craft a class culture. By the end of the book, your students will have plenty of great ideas! (It’s a good thing that David isn’t a real student!)
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss is such a classic choice for young readers. Children will love the nursery rhyme style of fun rhymes throughout the text. I use this text to talk about how to be brave and try new things. Read this one aloud and talk about certain foods that may be scary to try.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
I can’t make a list of favorite how to books for kindergarten and first grade without one from Mo Willems! This one is our personal favorite and is read on a regular basis in my house. These are always a good read with silly voices.
The good thing about the pigeon books is they are so simple to draw! It is a great way to talk about how to writing by using them with how to draw the main characters. The end result drawings also make a really cute bulletin board!
I hope these ideas on how to books for kindergarten and first grade encourage you this year! Keep reading for more fun teaching ideas and sign up below for my free monthly read aloud list.