School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex is a great story to read while welcoming your students to a new school year. In this story, it’s the first day of school and everyone is feeling nervous – even the school! This book is a great way to jump start a conversation about those first day jitters. Here are some activities you can use with this story.
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ABOUT THIS BOOK
It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?
The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.
This book is great for discussing feelings about the first day of school!
SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
This resource includes several ways to work on comprehension. These graphic organizers help students retell or summarize the story. When working on story elements, I like to use these spin-a-story pages. As students spin and identify each element, they can color that section of the wheel. If students land on that space again, they still identify the element, but can color another small section of the picture.
Here’s a closer look at the comprehension and discussion questions. There are 12 cards in all to help students think and talk about the story as they read. There is also an option to have students respond to these questions in writing.
I chose 12 vocabulary words to focus on for this story. Each vocabulary word has a matching definition card. These cards can be put in a pocket chart display or used in a memory matching game. You could also have students glue these into a notebook where students can draw a picture or write an original sentence with the words. I have included a vocabulary match-up page to help check for understanding of these words.
The main character of this story is the school. As you read the story, it’s important to point out how the school feels before the first day of school, on the first day of school, and after the first day of school. Then students can focus on why the school’s feelings and actions changed during the story. I added this graphic organizer to help students track their thinking.
SCHOOL CRAFT & WRITING
Because the school is the main character in this story, I wanted to include a school craft with this resource. These writing booklets are created using a red sheet of paper folded hamburger style. There are templates included to add all of the details to the school. You can choose whether your school craft has the same name as the book or is simply labeled ‘SCHOOL’.
When the school booklet is opened, it reveals a piece of student writing. I have included several suggestions for writing prompts, but you can always choose your own. One of the templates is a blank rectangle so students can draw and color a picture to match their writing and place inside of the booklet.
FUN FACT FREEBIE
After reading this book at the beginning of the school year, students can complete these fun fact pages. One page helps students learn more about their school and the other is more of an all about me page. There is room for students to add a colorful drawing on each page. Or, you could print these pages on Astrobrights paper and attach a photo or drawing into the picture space.
These fun fact pages are included in the book companion, but I have also added these to my Free Resource Library for my email subscribers. If you haven’t already signed up, you can do that here:
SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
If you can’t find a copy of this book in your school or local library, you can find it on Amazon.
All of these activities are included in my book companion for School’s First Day of School.