Hitting the Books: A Storytime about School

Tomorrow is the first day of school in our local district, so today we did a storytime about school. Here’s what we did:

Books:

Even Monsters Go to School by Lisa Wheeler; illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Very cute rhyming book showing different monsters (Bigfoot, Yeti, Frankenstein, etc.) going to school. The kids enjoyed seeing all of the different monsters, and making monster faces with me.

Rosie Goes to Preschool by Karen Katz

I don’t typically read picture books like this one, which is more of a description of a day at preschool, rather than a story, but I thought this one did a nice job of presenting preschool in a fun and engaging way, hitting all of the highlights, like playtime, music time, and lunch. Plus, the illustrations are colorful and inviting.

Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

Chu, the panda with the enormous sneeze, is worried about starting school, and whether his classmates will like him. When each student is asked to share something they like to do, Chu says nothing, but the chalk dust in the air soon makes it clear what he does better than anyone. The kids loved joining in on the big sneeze, and naming the different types of animals in the illustrations.

Songs & Rhymes:

The Wheels on the School Bus

A simple school bus themed version of The Wheels on the Bus:

A bike version of The Wheels on the Bus.

[C]The wheels on the school bus go round and round.

[G7]Round and round, [C] Round and round.

The wheels on the school bus go round and round,

[G7]All over [C] town.

We kept most of the usual verses (the driver on the bus says “move on back,” the doors on the bus go open and shut, the wipers on the bus go “swish, swish, swish,” etc.), and then had the wheels go really fast at the end.

My Friends Go Marching

[Am] My friends go marching one by one, [C] hurrah, hurrah.

[Am] My friends go marching one by one, [C] hurrah, hurrah.

My friends go marching [G7] one by one,

They [Am] walk through the door, they don’t [E7] ever run.

And we [C] all feel [G7] happy now [Am] school has begun.


My friends go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah.

My friends go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah.

My friends go marching two by two,

They hop through the door like a kangaroo.

And we all feel happy now school has begun.


My friends go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah.

My friends go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah.

My friends go marching three by three,

They fly through the door like a bumblebee.

And we all feel happy now school has begun.

Alphabet Song

We sang this through three times, going super fast the last time through. (I also played the silly trick where I said, “Now let’s sing it backwards!” and I turned my back to the crowd).

[C] A, B, C, D, [F] E, F, [G7] G,
[G7] H, I [C] J, K, [G7] L, M, N, O, [C] P.
[C] Q, R, [F] S, [C] T, U, [G7] V,
[C] W, [F] X, [C] Y and [G7] Z,
[C] Now I know my [F] A, B, [G7] C’s,
[G7] Next time [C] won’t you [G7] sing with [C] me.

A is for Alligator

This is a great rhyme for getting kids refocused after a movement song:

A is for Alligator, chomp, chomp, chomp (clap hands together on each chomp)

B is for Bunny, hop, hop, hop. (hop up and down)

C is for Circle, round and round, (draw a big circle in the air)

And D is for when we all sit Down.

Stay & Play: Homemade Books

This was a really simple activity, and nice because it gave the kids a lot of flexibility. I pre-folded paper “zines,” little books with several pages, which are folded out of one piece of paper. You can find the instructions from Red Ted Art here: https://www.redtedart.com/mini-school-supplies-notebook-craft-study-aid/

For the Stay & Play, I gave each kid a paper book, and put out markers and stickers. Some of them wrote in their books, some drew picture, and some just had fun adding stickers to each page. Some grown-ups wrote a letter on each page and had the kids decorate the rest of the book. They had a lot of fun, and many of them said they were going to keep working on it at home.

Happy First Day of School! If you have any favorite school-related books, please share them in the comments below.