10 Read-Alouds to End the School Year

​As the end of the school year approaches, I wanted to share some of my favorite read-alouds with you! These books are appropriate to read in kindergarten through the fifth grade classroom, all helping you close out the school year and transition your students into the next grade.

​As the end of the school year approaches, I wanted to share some of my favorite read-alouds with you! These books are appropriate to read in kindergarten through the fifth grade classroom, all helping you close out the school year and transition your students into the next grade. 

Love Is by Diane Adams

Love Is tells the sweet tale of the relationship between a little girl and gosling who eventually grows up and must return to the pond. It shows that love is unconditional, sometimes challenging, but always rewarding. Sometimes love means saying goodbye.

Classroom Connection: Teachers love their students and help them grow all year. They must eventually say goodbye so that their students can continue growing.

Little Tree by Loren Long

Little Tree shows how hard it can be to grow and let go. While all of the other trees around Little Tree drop their leaves and grow into big trees year after year, Little Tree holds tight to his leaves, resisting and fearing change. When he finally gives in and overcomes his fear, he realizes that change is a necessary part of growing.

Classroom Connection: Growing up and heading into the unknowns of a new school year can be scary, but can also help you grow into the person you’re supposed to be.

Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

Cloudette is a tiny cloud who can’t seem to find her purpose in the shadow of the bigger and more purposeful clouds. Cloudette is disheartened and discouraged but she persists until she finds a suitable job for a small cloud like herself.

Classroom Connection: No matter your size or ability, you have a purpose! Everyone is worthy. Perseverance pays off.

The Big Test by Julie Danneburg

I love all of the stories in the Mrs. Hartwell series, and this one is no exception. The pre-test anxiety is mounting and Mrs. Hartwell must prepare them sufficiently…but also teach them to relax! It’s just a test!

Classroom Connection: Tests and numbers and data don’t define our students, so relax and do your best!

Field Trip Fiasco by Julie Danneburg

Mrs. Hartwell’s class is headed to the zoo and prepared with lots of rules to ensure a smooth sailing trip. When she realizes that fun and learning are being compromised, she changes her plan and saves the day.

Classroom Connection: There are plenty of ways to have fun, learn, and stay safe on a classroom field trip. This is a great book to read before you take your students on their end-of-the-year trip!

Last Day Blues by Julie Danneburg

Mrs. Hartwell’s class worries she will miss them when summertime comes, so they find a way to make sure she’s not too sad to see them go. As we all know, we’ll certainly miss our class…but the end of the year is a sweet time for teachers, too 🙂

Classroom Connection: The reward for a great school year is the sweet promise of summertime!

Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

It’s hard not to fall in love with all of Reynolds’ work and this story is just as inspiring as all his others! It encourages you to follow your dreams – no matter how big or how small. It also touches on the uniqueness of dreamers and the different types of dreamers.

Classroom Connection: Dream big, dream small, just dream!

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This story is a MUST READ. It’s simple, but poignant – wishing more for the reader in all situations. I find it hard to put into words, so I just recommend that you read it!

Classroom Connection: Teachers will love how this story helps them eloquently wish more for their students as they transition out of their classroom and into the upcoming year.

Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden by Edith Pattou

Mrs. Spitzer is a teacher who nurtures a ‘packet of seeds’ from the summertime through the spring, watching it grow, weeding it, and caring for it throughout the duration of a school year. This metaphor for students is easy for students to understand and connect with.

Classroom Connection: A good teacher loves, cares for, nurtures, and prunes her students throughout the school year, watching them blossom and grow – just like a flower.

The Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant

An old woman, who’s lived longer than her friends, takes to naming objects, including her home, chair, and car – but there’s a catch. She only names things that will outlast her, so she doesn’t have to see any of her ‘friends’ pass before her. A friendly, stray dog visits her home and she refuses to name him, as there’s a chance he won’t outlive her. When the dog stops visiting, she realizes how lonely she is and in her search for him that he didn’t have a name. This story has a sweet ending, proving that memories can outlast anything.

Classroom Connection: The year will come to an end no matter what, but the memories you’ve made during the year will carry on in the hearts, lives, and minds of your students far beyond the nine months they spend in your care.

I hope this list helps you find end of the year read alouds to share with your students as you end your school year. I’ve read each of them and find the stories within to be touching, heart-warming and pertinent to helping students find closure as they transition out of your classroom!

I’ve also created a companion pack for each book that you can purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers. Each pack is standards-based, addressing a variety of literacy skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. You can check them out here!

If you’d like to see how the sets are planned out, this post explains!

Looking for activities to do with your favorite back to school read-alouds for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade? This post has you covered, teachers! It's full of standards-based activities for twenty of your favorite books, perfect for reading to your kids during ELA this back to school season. Each set of activities focuses on comprehension, vocabulary, and a variety of literacy skills for whole group and small group instruction. Check it out over at The Inspired Apple by Babbling Abby!

This post uses affiliate links for the convenience of the reader. Should you make a purchase via one of the links shared within this post, I will make a commission. This will not affect the price of your purchase and helps support The Inspired Apple. 

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Abby is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher who channels her passion for education into creating engaging activities and resources for the kindergarten and first grade classroom. When not dreaming up or working on her next project, you’ll find her enjoying her family – most likely in her minivan on the way to a soccer field.


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Hi, I'm Abby

Hi, I’m Abby! Thanks for stopping by. I love supporting kindergarten and first grade teachers with engaging, skill-based activities that are easy to use in their classrooms. Let me help you be the best teacher you can be!
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