End of the School Year 1st -2nd Grade Read Aloud

Best End of the School Year 1st – 2nd Grade Read Aloud

We can’t believe it is almost May and another school year is winding down.  This time of year, kids are getting a bit antsy waiting for summer vacation! It gets a little harder to keep them engaged in learning all day long. The one time of day you can count on to keep them captivated is read-aloud time. Students love listening to, discussing, and writing about books. This month we chose six wonderful books to close the year. Each book was carefully selected to ensure you can meet all the Reading Literature standards during interactive reading sessions. This post contains small previews of only a few activities from each read-aloud.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot Compare and Contrast

We paired the classic “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” with a fun modern twist of the fable, “The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot”  by Scott Magoon.  We chose the version by B.G. Hennessy, illustrated by Boris Kulikov, because of its beautiful, comical illustrations and its catchy phrases.  Students compare and contrast these stories. To prepare them for this challenging final activity, the lessons take deep dives into both stories so students can compare the events, details, and illustrations along the way.  First students complete story mountains to gain an understanding of the plot and key ideas and details in each story.  Then, they make connections between words and illustrations with one of our favorite graphic organizers.  By the end we are confident students will be ready to compare and contrast.  As an extension, students write friendly letters to one of the boys giving advice for the next time he is bored. We love this book as a start to May read alouds! 



Trickster Tale Read-aloud Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel


Anansi is one of those series that caught us by surprise.  A good friend introduced us to Anansi a few years ago and we can’t believe we taught in classrooms where Anansi wasn’t part of our collection. These books by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Janet Stevens, are absolutely delightful.  After reading “Anansi and the Talking Melon,” we purchased every single one of the Anansi stories. These books are perfect for interactive reading because of their complexity.  They require multiple revisits for children to fully comprehend and enjoy. “Anansi and the Talking Melon” is a trickster tale that is a great story for teaching character traits. You will love adding this to your list of end of year books to read aloud!

If you haven’t read this story yet, you can listen to it hear. Students love watching these videos of read-aloud too.

Growth Mindset with Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty

‘Rosie Revere Engineer’ is a must have book for every teacher. This new book is perfect for teaching growth mindset and the important part failure plays on the path to success. The story is about a girl named Rosie. Rosie loved to engineer new things until she invents something for her favorite uncle and he laughs at the invention. She stops creating and inventing until her Great-Great-Aunt-Rose comes for a visit and inspires her to start creating again. Rosie’s aunt teaches her the importance of failure. We plan to dig into the phrases in this story. The first time you read the story to your class, your students might not understand everything, but after you ask the text dependent questions and complete the unknown phrases graphic organizer, they will have a deep understanding of the text.


What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada

‘What Do You Do with an Idea?’ is about a boy who gets an idea, but doesn’t know what to do with it. He worries what other people will think of his ideas so he ignores the idea, but it follows him. He starts to realize the more attention he gives the idea the better he feels.  This is a great book for motivating students to nurture their ideas and why it is important to embrace their ideas. We plan to discuss cause and effect with this story so the students can gain a deeper understanding of how the boy’s actions effect his idea. Then students will write a bright idea that they have and complete the cute creativity.

Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg for the End-of-the-Year Read-Aloud

Because it’s the end of the school year we felt it was necessary to include an end-of-year story. “Last Day Blues” is the perfect way to end our year of read-alouds. If you read “First Day Jitters” at the beginning of the school year, your students will probably remember how nervous Mrs. Hartwell was to begin the school year. “Last Day Blues” takes readers through the emotional roller coaster of the last week of school. The students are concerned that Mrs. Hartwell is going to spend her entire summer missing them, but Mrs. Hartwell is secretly just as excited about summer as they are. This structure makes for a perfect point of view lesson plan. After talking about the point of view of the characters, we plan on discussing how the students in the book talk about what they are going to miss about class and what they are excited to do during the summer. Then, we will have our students write about things they will miss and things they are excited about.

What Do Teachers Do (after YOU leave School)?

What Do Teachers Do (after you leave school)? by Anne Bowenis so perfect for the end of the year. It it a fun and engaging story that is sure to get your students thinking about what teachers do after the teachers leave. We all know that primary grade students don’t think teachers are real people and some truly believe we live at the school which makes this story even more entertaining to the kids. We will have students write down all the things from the story that the teachers did after the students left and then we plan to have our students write what they think teachers do after they leave. In the story the teachers make a mess with green slime, so we plan make slime with our students which is perfect for an end-of-the-year activity.

May Read-Alouds Scope and Sequence

This monthly bundle aligns the Common Core State Reading Literature Standards for 1st and 2nd grade with our text dependent questions as well as our response to text activities. If you are unfamiliar with text dependent questions read this blog post. You can download the scope and sequence for free here. The download also includes a Depth of Knowledge (DOK) rigor checklist.

We have written enough read-alouds that hit the CCSS to last the entire school year. Each read-aloud is fun and engaging while also hitting all the reading literature standards. Your students will be begging for the next story and you will be relieved knowing that you are teaching the core one read-aloud at a time.


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