As the school year winds down I wanted to share with you six of my favorite end of the year read alouds. As we all know it can be extra challenging keeping our students’ engaged during the end of the year excitement. Summer break is calling their name and they definitely have some ants in their pants! So you want to make sure your read aloud selections are ones that will hold their attention. There are so many wonderful books to choose from but these are six of my favorites. I also am including some activity suggestions you can do with these or other similar books. The activities are fairly simple because no one has the time or energy to plan elaborate activities this time of year!
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The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
The crocodile in this book has a fear: he is scared to swallow a watermelon seed. What happens when he does swallow the seed? The crocodile’s imagination goes wild. Your students will love to read all the hilarious scenarios the crocodile comes up with.
And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner
This book captures the joy and excitement of summer, from playing hide and seek until dark, parades, ice cream and family vacations. It is a beautiful and poetic book. I love this line: “When bumblebees bumble around in flowers, and warblers flit from tree to tree.”
No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher’s Dirty Looks by Diaane De Groat
I love all the Gilbert books. They are funny and always teach some kind of lesson. Kids identify with Gilbert and love the humor and silly antics that happen in every book. This one is all about the last day of school and who will receive a year-end award from Mrs. Byrd.
Froggy’s Lemonade Stand Jonathan London
There are so many Froggy books that I could include on this list, but this is one that just came out last year. Froggy always finds himself in some kind of predicament and always finds a way to solve it in a humorous way. In this book Froggy opens a lemonade stand but winds up drinking all the lemonade. Of course Froggy’s friends and family are there to help him.
If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t! by Elise Parsley
Magnolia is a very precocious child with some wild ideas including why taking a piano to the beach not a good idea. Or is it? Your students will love Magnolia’s determination and hilarious antics.
Lizzie and the Last Day of School by Trinka Hakes Noble
This story captures the many emotions children can feel as the last day of school approaches. Lizzie is sad to see school end for the summer. She loved her teacher and all the things she learned in first grade. She does not want the year to end. But she receives some good news that puts a smile on her face and makes her excited to see what a new school year will bring.
Activity Ideas for End of School Read Alouds
Below are a few simple ideas that you could use to go along with one of the books above (or similar books).
Paper Plate Watermelon Craft
Scary Stories Campfire
If you have time, create a make-believe campfire. You can take paper towel or toilet paper tubes and group them on the floor. Then take some red and orange tissue paper and make “fire”. Or you can take a bucket and attach red and orange paper to the edge to look like flames. You can also use battery operated tealight candles. Gather the students on the floor, turn off the lights and tell scary stories. Even if you don’t have a campfire, the kids will love it.
Paper Heart Frog Craft
Last Day Goodbye Stars
I like this idea because it’s simple and can easily be done in the library, not just a classroom. And you could save the stars and use them next year.
What are your favorite read alouds for the end of school? Do you have an activity idea to share? Comment below and let us know.