The Day You Begin – 3 Awesome Back to School Reading Activities

Are you looking for a fantastic back-to-school read-aloud for your upper elementary class? If so, I have your answer! The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson is one of the best back-to-school read-alouds ever!

The Day You Begin Activity 1 – Pre-Reading

One thing that I love about this book is its unique title. Students don’t immediately understand what the title means. So it’s a good opportunity to model what good readers do when a title confuses them. They look at the back and front covers, searching for information. Next, have students complete the sentence “The day you begin…”

Activity 2 – During Reading

the day you begin read aloud prompts

I LOVE to use a variety of reading prompts while sharing this beautiful picture book with students. Structures such as turn & talk, stop & jot, and think aloud allow students to get the most learning possible out of this story.

One prompt that I love using is for page 10 of The Day You Begin. I like to ask students why the little girl thinks that the shells will turn to dust in her hands. Then I extend the question by asking them what this tells us about how she is feeling.

The Day You Begin Activity 3 – After Reading

the day you begin back to school reading activities

After reading The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, I like to complete a fun community-building activity. This handprint craft allows students to discover the similarities and differences that they have with their classmates. It can be a really meaningful activity, especially if you have a class that has had clique issues in the past.

Are you interested in using The Day You Begin in your classroom? Click HERE to check out my interactive read-aloud unit that accompanies the story. There are a TON of reading prompts, plus everything comes in printable AND digital formats. Best of both worlds!

the day you begin read aloud unit

Need some more awesome read-alouds for the back-to-school season? Check out THIS blog post for 10 others that I LOVE!

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