School’s First Day of School, written by Adam Rex and illustrated by Christian Robinson, turns the typical “first day of school” story on its head. After a new school is built, makes friends with the janitor, and gets used to a peaceful existence, the school hears some scary, unwelcome news: children are coming!
School’s First Day of School will be a fun writing prompt to use in the classroom. After you read the book aloud to your students, here are some activities to try:
1. In this book, the main character is a school. If you were to write a story with an inanimate object as the main character, what object would you choose? Why? When you are choosing your object, think about what characteristics your inanimate object has that might be useful in the plot of your story. For example, in School’s First Day of School, the school is able to squirt a boy from a water fountain, be embarrassed by setting off the fire alarm, and be hurt by a pushpin.
2. What other books can you think of where the main character is an inanimate object? Make a list as a class.
3. The school gradually warms up to the children, just as the little girl with freckles warms up to the school, and the book ends on a happy note. What if you were to write a sequel to School’s First Day of School? What would happen? What new problems would arise, and how would they be solved?
School’s First Day of School is funny, surprising, and heart-warming. It is a story of adapting to change, and of realizing that the things we never wanted may be exactly the things we need the most.