In the months leading up to the first day of kindergarten, young learners are teeming with excitement and joy in anticipation of one of the most important days of their lives. But that enthusiasm often wanes, or becomes muted, by feelings of nervousness and anxiety as the first day of school approaches. After all, starting school is a pretty big deal! 

To ease the transition into kindergarten and help your young learners overcome their nervousness, it’s important to show students what to expect on the big day. These five books are not only perfect read-alouds to prepare them for what’s to come, but they’ll also inspire young learners to reflect on the wide range of emotions they may be experiencing as they make this big leap. 

Shop kindergarten read alouds below! You can find all books and activities at The Teacher Store.


David Goes to School

In David Goes to School, David isn’t the best model of behavior—he’s a runner, a yeller, and a pusher—but he’s still lovable and his antics offer some very important lessons. His story will make any anxious student laugh, and the words of encouragement he receives at the end of the day will ease any fears associated with the first day of school. 

The Kissing Hand

This classic first-day-of school story is a heartwarming tale of love and reassurance before the big day. It not only shows young learners what to expect, but it also provides a foolproof racoon family secret to get them through the school day.

The Night Before Kindergarten

Feelings of nervousness and anxiety always peak the night before the first day of school. In this timely twist on a classic holiday story, your students will learn everything they need to do to fully prepare for all the fun school has in store!

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes

Whether it’s the first day of kindergarten or the first day of fourth grade, school shoes are always something special. In this adventure about the first day of school, Pete the Cat will guide your students from one new place to another in his special red shoes.

Wemberly Worried

Wemberly Worried is the perfect read-aloud for new elementary students feeling nervous about transitioning to a new grade and classroom. This book helps students replace feelings of nervousness with excitement as the first day of kindergarten approaches. 

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