The best way to wrap up a school year is with a read aloud. Picture books in this post help recall the precious memories made throughout the year. These end of the year read aloud activities are filled with fun ideas to make your reading sessions engaging without hours of preparation.
Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds Activities
Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds teaches a really important lesson. You are everything you need to be and more: brave, strong, persistent. This book is a perfect end of the year read aloud to help praise your students for all the hard work they did throughout the year.
Be You! activity idea: students work on a writing craft where they draw their portraits, pick one of the qualities in the book and explain why they think it describes them well. Share their responses and ask the classmates to name other adjectives to describe their friends.
In A Jar by Deborah Marcero Activities
In a Jar not only features a super cute main character, but also helps explain what symbols are. This end of the year read aloud can be great to foster a discussion on how memory is like a jar – you can fill it with things you want to hold on to and it is up to you what you put inside.
In A Jar activity idea: a writing craft, where you can print out letter page sized masonry jars and ask students to fill them memories from this year. For a fun twist, label the pages with a name and randomly distribute to students, so they fill them with memories they made together with a friend whose name they got.
If I Built a School by Chris van Dusen
If I Built a School is probably the most creative book about a school. Every time reading it, one is surprised at all the fun ideas to ‘upgrade’ good ol’ school: robochef and lots of cute puppies, who would not want to attend such school?
If I Built a School activity idea: a really fun activity for I Built a School is to try to imagine yourself in a library where books come alive. Ask your students to imagine which book they would like to pop out from a page. Imagine how the story would change if they were one of the characters.
Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen activities
The main message of Our Class is a Family is that school is our home away from home.
Our Class is a Family activity idea: compare different groups where caring and respecting each other is important. Ask students to name such group. Compare the relationships in the class, family, neighborhood, city: how are they similar and different?
The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi Activities
There are few books that inspire young readers to move on to new adventures like The Magical Yet. The book is written in a form of a journey where a child is accompanied by a Magical Yet.
The Magical Yet activity idea: Reflect on the beginning of the year. Ask your students to tell you when ‘the magical yet’ helped them achieve new heights. How?
And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner Activities
And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner is an ode to summer days filled with laughter and adventures. This book with seriously adorable illustrations sounds like it was made to be used as an interactive read aloud.
And Then Comes Summer activity idea: Every passage in the book has a when … then … format. When reading the book, only read the when part and have your student complete the then part with their own ideas before you continue reading the passage.