Beginning of the Year Read-Alouds for Kindergarten

Story time in Kindergarten is powerful.  Reading books aloud to children improves early literacy skills while also teaching important concepts.  Here are my top ten books for the beginning of the year in Kindergarten…

1.  The Kissing Hand: Teaching about feelings & separation anxiety

The Kissing Hand is one of my favorite first day read-alouds.  Students can easily relate to Chester the Racoon, who was nervous about school and leaving his Mom.

After listening to the story, I have students work in centers while I pull them to my teacher table one at a time to create their own Kissing Hands.  You can find this First Day of Kindergarten FREEBIE in the Free Resources Library!

Kissing Hand Freebie

2.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom:  Introducing the Alphabet

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is another one of my favorite books for the beginning of the year in Kindergarten.  It’s the perfect text to read as well begin our letter introduction unit.  After listening to the story and dancing to the song on YouTube, students each complete a page as shown below.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom bulletin board

This Chicka Chicka Boom Boom companion lesson resource includes editable pages to customize for each student’s name, bulletin board lettering, and a class book cover.  First, I use the pages for our first bulletin board of the year.  After I take the pages down, I place the sheets into page protectors.  I add the cover inside the clear binder window, and place the class book in our library for my students to read again and again.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom lessons

3.  We Put the Kind in KINDergarten:  Teaching Kindness and SEL

Adding to the list is my own personal “work of heart”, We Put the Kind in KINDergarten!  This story teaches children about the powerful impact that random acts of kindness have in the classroom and beyond.  Following the story, we make a list of ways we can show kindness in the classroom and on the playground.  I complete the craft below with my students in small groups.  Students write their name on the heart.  Since the kids are not writing on their own early in the year, I ask each student how they can show kindness and I write their words on the flipcraft.  Lettering is included in this resource as well to create another beginning of the year bulletin board!

You can find my We Put the Kind in KINDergarten companion lesson that includes writing, a craft, and bulletin board in my TPT Store!

4.  The King of Kindergarten & 5. The Queen of Kindergarten:  Teaching confidence

The King of Kindergarten & The Queen of Kindergarten written by Derrick Barnes are wonderful stories that introduce students to the fun things they will experience in the wonderful world of Kindergarten.  These texts promote self-confidence as well as diversity.

6.  Giraffes Can’t Dance:  Teaching the “Power of Yet”

I loved this story when I received it as a baby shower gift for my son, and it’s perfect for Kindergarten!  Giraffes Can’t Dance empowers children to believe they can accomplish anything – even if they can’t just yet!




7.  Interrupting Chicken:  Teaching How to be a Good Listener

  What’s the biggest challenge teachers face during story time?  For me, it’s teaching my kids how to listen without interrupting to tell me it’s their dogs birthday or any random off-topic story!  Listening is one of the most important skills we teach in early childhood.  Interrupting Chicken is a funny read-aloud that reminds children about the importance of good listening skills.

8.  Personal Space Camp: Teaching Personal Space

In addition to listening, personal space is another vital kindergarten skill.  Personal Space Camp is a wonderful read-aloud that teaches kids about personal space.  It addresses why students need to respect someone’s physical boundaries and provides suggestions for doing just that.




9.  The Rainbow Fish:  Teaching the Importance of Sharing

   This one is a Kindergarten classic.  The Rainbow Fish is one of the best books for teaching students about the importance of sharing.  The book provides a platform for discussion about ways we can share with our classmates.






10.  Too Much Glue:  Teaching How to Use Supplies Appropriately

Rounding out the list of my top 10 books for the beginning of the year in Kindergarten is Too Much Glue.  Teaching students how to use supplies appropriately is a must for kindergarten teachers.  I use this book prior to doing our first craft that involves using glue!

There are so many wonderful children’s books for kindergarten!  I hope you enjoyed my favorite books for the beginning of the year in kindergarten.


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