Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite “End of the Year” Picture Books!

Can you actually believe that it’s almost JUNE??? I am having a very hard time with the calendar turn that will take place later this week. June marks the end of another school year and a time when you are preparing to say your good-byes to your class. Endings are hard, so it’s nice to have some books on hand to share over the coming weeks to help your students transition into summer and reflect on their year with you.

Here are some of my favorite books for sharing as the school year draws to a close and to inspire students to head into summer filled with inspiration and adventure. These read-alouds are sure with the farewells and help to send your students off on the right path into summer!

A Letter from Your Teacher on the Last Day Of SchoolSharma Olsen

Every time I read this book, I cry! Although I’m not teaching in my own classroom right now, it brings back so many memories and emotions of year end. The story is written as a letter from the teacher’s point of view and invites the class to reflect back on the memories, connections, challenges, and successes they had in school. The teacher expresses how proud she is of them and how she will miss them but also cheers them on for all the exciting things they have ahead of them. There is even a blank space in the back for you to sign your own name so the letter comes from you! This is SUCH a perfect book to read to your class and a great anchor for having students write about their favorite memories of the school year.

A Letter to My Teacher – Deborah Hopkinson

This book is a heartfelt thank-you note from a student to the second grade teacher who had a special knack for spinning her challenges in a positive way. This book would be a great writing anchor to have your students brainstorm people who’ve supported students during the school year — support teachers, the teacher librarian, the custodian, the secretary, peers, parents or grandparents —and then invite them to draw and/or write thank-you notes to them.

Last Day of School Blues – Julie Danneberg

Fans of First Day Jitters will love spending the last day of school in Mrs. Hartwell classroom. Everyone is excited for summer break, but there is just one problem. The kids don’t want their teacher to miss them while they’re gone. Great illustrations, especially the final picture!

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Last Day of School – Julie Gassner

This fun end the school year read-aloud takes a humorous look at the possible disasters that can happen if your dragon comes along on the last day of school. A surprise ending when we see who wanted to bring the dragon along. The illustrations are outstanding and hilarious and I know primary students will really enjoy this one!

When Things Aren’t Going Right, Go Left – Peter H. Reynolds

As we all know, summer vacation may not be filled with adventure and family fun for all of our students. Summer might be filled with fears, frustrations, worries, and doubts. But this book helps students know that they have a choice when it comes to all of these feelings. In the story, a young boy is having a horrible day. Nothing is going right, but instead of becoming frustrated and giving up, he chooses to change directions and leave his worries behind him. We all, kids and the adults who love them, need to be reminded that we have a choice in how we respond to life’s worries, frustrations and “not right” days.

I Wish You More Amy Krouse Rosenthal

I love the idea of “wishing” on your students with words of encouragement and as they leave your class and this book can certainly help you do that. A sweet, uplifting message to show your students all of your wishes for them – from celebrating life’s joyous milestones to paying attention to the wonder of everyday moments.

The Year We Learned to Fly – Jacqueline Woodson

A grandmother’s advice to her two grandchildren: “Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours. Lift your arms, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and believe in a thing. Somebody, somewhere at some point was just as bored you are now.”  And then their imaginations take over! I think this would be a wonderful book to share with students before the end of the year – they will likely feel bored at some points over the summer, but their best tool to develop ideas or activities…is always close by – their imagination!

Wherever You Go – Pat Zietlow Miller

Written in rhyming text, the main character rabbit is told that roads will take you wherever you want to go, just open the door! Absolutely gorgeous illustrations and a wonderful story of adventure and exploration that can be a great inspiration to your students as they set off on their summer break.

And Then Comes Summer – Tom Brenner

This is the perfect book to launch your class into a fun-filled summer break! This story illustrates all the fun seasonal activities for kids to enjoy, from fireworks to fairs! Students can brainstorm all the exciting activities they are looking forward to for the summer ahead.

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!Cori Doerrfeld

From the author of The Rabbit Listened comes a gentle story about the difficulty of change and the wonder that new beginnings can bring. School ending means some friendships are pausing or ending and that can be hard for some children. This book explores all the goodbyes in life and the positives it can leads to.

The Hike – Alison Farrell

Summer is a great time to get outside and connect with nature and what better way to inspire this message but through great books! So, I’m ending with a two of my very favorite books to inspire getting outside, connecting with nature, and exploring the world! The first shares the best and worst of any hike: from picnics to puffing and panting, deer-sighting to detours. Featuring a glossary, a sketchbook by one of the characters, abundant labels throughout, and scientific back notes. LOVE this book!

Wonder Walkers – Micha Archer

Two young children take readers outside to explore. As they walk, run, and breath in the wonder of nature, they begin to wonder themselves. A beautiful, brilliant, and inspiring picture book that invites children (and adults) to explore the world, be curious and creative. A great book to inspire your students to do be wonder walkers this summer!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a few books flagged to share with your students as the school year winds down.

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