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Books about Teachers: A List for Elementary Teachers (Grades 1-5)

These books about teachers are great for any time of the school year, but especially Teacher Appreciation Week. They all feature teacher characters and have interesting plots. Your elementary students will love listening to these read alouds! Check out the full list of books about teachers below!

This post highlights the following children’s books:

  • A Letter to my Teacher
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker
  • The Teacher from the Black Lagoon
  • Flight School
  • Mr. Peabody’s Apples
  • Wemberly Worried
  • Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse
  • Chrysanthemum
  • The Art Lesson
  • The Dot
kids reading books about teachers

10 Books about Teachers

Below are 10 books about teachers that are perfect spring books for celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week.

A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson

In A Letter to My Teacher, a woman about to start her first job is writing a letter to her second grade teacher. She was the student that showed up on the first day grouchy and soaking wet. The girl did not like school because she had to sit still and was not good at reading or writing. Second grade was the girl’s favorite year in school thanks to her teacher. The teacher always gave her extra help and made learning fun for the students by planting a class garden. Even when the girl shouted out, made mistakes, and got into trouble, the teacher showed her kindness and care.

The story is told through the letter the woman is writing to her teacher, sharing all of her memories. At the end, the reader learns that the girl is about to start her first day as a teacher, inspired by her own second grade teacher. This is one of my favorite books about teachers!

predicting activity based on the book, A Letter to my Teacherworksheet based on the book, Thank You, Mr. Falker

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

When Trisha turned five, her grandfather explained that learning to read would give her the gift of knowledge in Thank You, Mr. Falker. Trisha loved being read to and couldn’t wait until she learned to read herself. However, when Trisha started school, reading did not come easy to her. Her classmates continued to move forward in reading but Trisha struggled to sound out words. Throughout her years in school, Trisha’s classmates would laugh at her and call her names.

When Trisha started fifth grade, her teacher was Mr. Falker. He was always supportive of Patricia and her gift of drawing. Students continued to call Trisha awful names, and she started to believe them. Soon, Mr. Falker realized how much Trisha was struggling and that she learned differently. He started staying after school with her, determined to teach her how to read. After months of practice, Trisha was excited to be able to read a paragraph. Years later, she saw Mr. Falker again and explained that she grew up to be an author. This will quickly become one of your favorite books about teachers!

The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler

In The Teacher from the Black Lagoon, it is the first day of school and a young boy is wondering who his teacher might be. He has heard that Mrs. Green is a monster and is nervous when he finds out she will be his teacher. When she comes into the room, he sees that Mrs. Green is actually green, has claws and a tail! When a student throws a spitball, she turns him to ashes and even swallows a student that was chewing gum. The boy is so nervous that he won’t even make it to lunch!

After turning a student into a frog and giving someone a head the size of a pin, Mrs. Green announces that it is nap time. When the boy wakes up from his nap, he sees a pretty teacher with real skin and no claws standing in front of him. She introduces herself as Mrs. Green and he is so relieved to see her, the boy runs right up and hugs her. 

worksheet based on the book, The Teacher from the Back Lagoonworksheet based on the book, Flight School

Flight School by Lita Judge

In Flight School, Penguin arrived at flight school excited to finally accomplish his dream of learning to fly. Despite his teacher, Flamingo, and her confusion to see a penguin in flight school, he joined the class anyway. Penguin went through all of the lessons with his classmates and it was finally time for their first flight. When it was his turn though, Penguin didn’t soar into the air like the others. Instead, he fell right into the ocean. Discouraged, Penguin decided it was time for him to go home.

As he was leaving, Flamingo called him back and had a plan. She allowed Penguin to experience flying by pulling him behind her. Although Penguin fell out of the air during flight, he was thrilled he finally accomplished his goal of soaring through the air. Soon after, Penguin returned to flight school with his friend Ostrich, who wanted to learn to fly too! 

Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna

In Mr. Peabody’s Apples, Mr. Peabody is a teacher in Hapville and a beloved baseball coach. After a baseball game one day, Tommy saw Mr. Peabody at the fruit market. He watched as Mr. Peabody admired an apple, put it in his bag, and walked away without paying. Tommy rushed off to tell his friends and soon the whole town knew what Mr. Peabody had done. At the next baseball game, Billy is the only one to show up. He explains to Mr. Peabody that no one else is there because they all think he is a thief for taking the apple. However, the boys learn that Mr. Peabody pays for the apples at the beginning of each week when he goes to buy his milk. Mr. Peabody asks Tommy to bring a feather pillow to the baseball field. He has Tommy cut open the pillow and shake the feathers out into the field and then asks him to pick them up. When Tommy says it’s impossible, Mr. Peabody explains it is just as impossible to repair the damage Tommy had done. He explains to Tommy it is important to be honest and you should never spread rumors. 

making predictions worksheet based on the book, Mr. Peabody's Applesthree worksheets based on the book, Wemberly Worried

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

In Wemberly Worried, Wemberly worries about absolutely everything- from shrinking in the bathtub to losing her parent in the middle of the night. Although her parents and grandmother try to convince her there is nothing she needs to worry about, she is not convinced. Her biggest worry comes when she starts her first day of school. Wemberly is worried about many things when she arrives for her first day. She meets her new teacher, Mrs. Peachum. Mrs. Peachum helps Wemberly feel comfortable by introducing her to a new girl named Jewel. The girls become friends and play together with their special dolls. Wemberly is happy at school and begins to feel less worried.

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes tells a story about Lilly, a young mouse. Lilly adores her teacher Mr. Slinger and wants to be a teacher just like him when she grows up.

One day, Lilly gets new sunglasses and a purple purse with coins in it. She brings them to school and is so excited to share them with her class. However, Mr. Slinger tells her she must wait to share them. Lilly has a very hard time waiting and continues to interrupt the class.

As a result, Mr. Slinger takes her things until the end of the day. Lilly is very angry and writes a mean note to Mr. Slinger and leaves it in his bag. On her way home, Lilly finds a kind note from Mr. Slinger and some treats. Lilly feels very guilty and decides to give a note to Mr. Slinger the next day. That day at school Lilly gets to share her purse and glasses. She is reminded of how much she loves school and Mr. Slinger. 

cause and effect worksheet based on the book, Lilly's Purple Plastic Pursecharacter traits worksheet based on the book, Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

In the book Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum loves her name until she goes to school. The students in her class make fun of her for having such a long name and for being named after a flower. At the end of the story, Mrs. Twinkle, the music teacher, defends Chrysanthemum by telling the students she too is named after a flower. The students then start to envy Chrysanthemum’s long name and meaning of her name. Students will enjoy this story about being true to yourself and loving who you are.

The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola

In The Art Lesson, Tommy is very excited to go to first grade because he can finally be in an art class! Tommy loves to draw and draw. However, when it is time for art class, the teacher only allows the students to use one piece of paper and the school’s box of crayons. Tommy feels sad about this because he was so excited to use his 64 pack of crayons!

His classroom teacher and art teacher come up with a compromise so that he can work well in the art room, but also be able to use his own crayons. 

two worksheets based on the book, The Art Lessonwriting paper based on the book, The Dot

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

The Dot tells the story of Vashti, a young girl who thinks she cannot draw. As Vashti sits in art class, her paper is empty and she is clearly frustrated. Her teacher encourages her to make a start by making a mark and signing her name.

The following week when Vashti walks into art class she sees that her dot drawing is behind the teacher’s desk in a fancy gold frame. When she looks at her art, Vashti thinks she can make an even better dot than that. She starts making all big dots, little dots, and all different colored dots.

When it is time for the school art show, everyone is interested in Vashti’s dot drawings. A young boy admiring her pictures mentions that he wishes he could draw like that. Vashti encourages him to draw a line and sign his name. This heartwarming story is a great way to introduce growth mindset to students!

If you are looking for lesson ideas and student activities, then check out these Starts With a Story resources. They include reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, SEL lesson ideas, and more!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is a-letter-to-my-teacher-activities-worksheets-1024x1024.jpgThank You, Mr FalkerThe Teacher from the Black Lagoon book companionFlight SchoolMr. Peabody's Apples book companion
Wemberly WorriedLilly's Purple Plastic PurseChrysanthemum book companionThe Art LessonThe Dot

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

We hope you found this list of books about teachers helpful! All of the read alouds on this list are included in my Starts With a Story collection. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

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