Add a multicultural perspective to your back-to-school read-alouds with engaging picture books and free activities!
Share school experiences of children around the world, develop students’ geographic and cultural awareness, and build a caring and welcoming classroom community.
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Multicultural Books for Back to School
It’s Back to School We Go! First Day Stories From Around the World by Ellen Jackson
Children from 11 different countries share what the first day of school is like for them.
Each two-page spread includes a first-person account of a child’s first day at school and general facts about children in that country.
Students enjoy identifying the many similarities with their peers around the world and learning about some of the differences that make our experiences unique.
Click here for a video reading of the book with traditional background music for each country (from Teacher Tube, approx. 16.5 minutes), a discussion guide, and links to related books and photos about going back to school.
*Recommendation: Share this book over several days, as there is a lot of information to cover (and a lot of fun discussion you should allow time for).
This is the Way We Go to School A Book About Children Around the World by Edith Baer
While children all over the world go to school, the way they get there can be very different. Commutes to school vary depending on where you live and the resources that are available.
This book shares some of the different ways kids head to school, including a ferry, trolley car, bus, and helicopter!
Click here for a brief video showing some different (and sometimes dangerous) ways that children around the world go to school – illustrating the sheer determination they have just to get an education (another great discussion to have!).
Download our FREE lesson plan with geography, writing, and class graphing activities.
Teach Us Your Name by Huda Essa
“Everyone has a name, and every name has a story.” – Huda Essa, educator and author of Teach Us Your Name.
This story reminds us of the importance of respecting everyone’s name and empowers kids to teach others about their name.
Click here for a Supplemental Resource Guide from the author (themes, ideas, and talking points), a pledge for pronouncing students’ names correctly, and a link to learn about first names and their meanings, pronunciation, history, and more.
Print our FREE activity to have students teach the class about their names.
Related Product: The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Unhei, a young girl from Korea, faces many challenges when she moves to a new culture – including what to do about her name. Click here for our #ReadYourWorld book companion.