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Home » Blog » Literacy » Read Alouds » Last Day of School Read Aloud Ideas

Last Day of School Read Aloud Ideas

End of the Year, Read Alouds, Seasonal, Spring

Written by: Katie Palmer

Believe it or not, the last day of school is approaching. Last day of school chaos is a real thing, and it can be hard to keep students engaged. Here’s an idea: try a picture book with a corresponding activity to keep your little learners from running around the room with summer excitement. This post features our top 9 read aloud ideas for the last day of school that are sure to bring some smiles and sanity to your last few hours of teaching this year!

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The End is Just the Beginning

Written by Mike Bender, Illustrated by Diana Mayo

This heartwarming book reminds students the end of something is just the beginning of a new adventure. It tackles the bittersweet feelings of starting summer vacation.

Book Activity

The book mentions how things never really end, as there is always a new beginning. Pass out the last day of school crowns for students to decorate and cut out. Then, staple them together and show how the crowns are an unending circle as well. They can wear these the rest of the day to symbolize how an ending can be the beginning of something new.

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Last Day Blues

Written by Julie Danneberg, Illustrated by Judy Love

The last day of school has arrived, and Mrs. Hartwell’s students worry about that she will be lonely over the summer. Little do they know, she has her own summer break plans.

Book Activity

Ease those worries about summer by creating summer bucket lists. Tell students to hang these lists up in their rooms and check off what they actually get to do!

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Lizzie and the Last Day of School

Written by Trina Hakes Noble, Illustrated by Kris Aro McLeod

Lizzie is sad to see 1st grade come to an end…it was her best year yet! However, she soon finds out she will get to spend time with her treasured teacher, Ms. G, during the summer!

Book Activity

The end of the year is always bittersweet. Help students look back on all the good times by having them complete a favorite memory writing activity.

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Read about a full memory book project here: End of the Year Memory Book.


No More Teachers, No More Books, No More Teacher’s Dirty Looks

Written & Illustrated by Diane deGroat

It’s the last day of school and Gilbert is worried he will not get a classroom award. Especially when his teachers starts handing them out to his friends, and still hasn’t called his name…

Book Activity

There is something to fit the personality of every student in our end of year awards collection. Follow up this read aloud by handing out each and every student their own personalized certificate, brag tag or lanyard. (There is even an autofill version!)

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Get a closer look at classroom awards AND see how you can hand them out digitally here: How to Use End of the Year Awards with Remote Learning (or In-Person Learning!)


In a Jar

Written & Illustrated by Deborah Marcero

This beautiful story of friendships and endings is a great read for the last day of school. In it, two bunnies become friends, collecting amazing things together. (Which they store in jars.) However, one of the friends soon has to move away, and all that is left is their collection of jars.

Book Activity

In the story, the main characters placed things they treasured in jars. One thing you and the students will always treasure is memories of the school year. Help cement these memories by having students fill each others “jars” with kind words, signatures or little drawings. You can manage this activity in a couple of different ways:

  1. Students “scoot” around the classroom adding their happy anecdote to each jar paper.
  2. Students say in their spots and the jar papers are passed at a teacher’s signal.

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Teacher in the Wild

Written by Devin Siebold, Illustrated by Izzy B

Written by a former teacher turned comedian, this book is sure to bring out the giggles. This story tells a tale primary teachers are all too familiar with….what happens when a student sees them OUTSIDE of school. It is a great read before summer vacation that will get students wondering what you do outside of teaching time.

Book Activity

Wrap up the year with a quick lesson on fantasy vs. realism. After handing out the graphic organizer, ask students to think about what it would be like to see you outside of the school this summer. Have them write and draw about something that could and could NOT happen in real life if they ran into you in public. Students will love this chance at creativity.

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That Last Day of School

Written by Louise Borden, Illustrated by Adam Gustavson

This story tackles those end of school year bittersweet feelings. Focusing on Mrs. Mallory’s 3rd grade class, the story follows Matthew, who is trying to figure out the perfect way to say goodbye to his teacher.

Book Activity

Just like Matthew, students may want to show their appreciation to another student or adult in the school with a thank you card!

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The North Star

Written & Illustrated by Peter Reynolds

This book will inspire students to dream big and follow their own path…a meaningful lesson to leave them with at the end of the school year!

Book Activity

Keep students dreaming of what their future path may look like with this writing prompt. “I have a Dream” craft. Students will write one hope or dream on each rainbow strip.

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The Magical Yet

Written by Angela DiTerlizzi, Illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gomez

This book focuses on the power of YET. It shows students that yes, there are many things they cannot do….YET. Send off students with the message that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to with this heartwarming book.

Book Activity

After reading, students will be excited about what awaits them in the future. Have them draw a thinking cloud on a large piece of construction or bulletin board paper. Then, they can list, write or draw about their future dreams.


For more end of year activities and ideas, check out these posts:

Last Week of School Activities

Riddle Bags to Countdown the End of the Year

Keep Calm and Survive the End of 2nd Grade

Hopefully this list of read alouds and blog posts can help ease your school year into summer break, while leaving students with lasting memories.

Happy teaching!

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