Spring Picture Books for Upper Elementary

Spring Picture Books for Upper Elementary

Spring fever is a real thing!

Especially in the upper elementary classroom!

Why not harness all of that excitement about the changing seasons with meaningful reading and writing activities all focused on engaging spring-themed picture books!

No matter how old students may get, they still absolutely LOVE celebrating all things related to seasons and holidays! And so do I! There is something about a new season that refreshes all of us with new opportunities, especially the arrival of spring. We are all instantly refreshed and recharged and ready to take on the rest of the school year.

These spring picture books and activities are the perfect way to welcome springtime into your upper elementary classroom while providing opportunities for meaningful discussions, content-based lessons, and addressing your grade-level standards.

Here is my list of favorite springtime picture books. They include new and older titles across many different topics, allowing you to engage a wide range of students. Be sure to grab the FREE student activity pack that coordinates with these books at the bottom of this post. 

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring written by Kenard Park

Spring Picture Books for Upper Elementary

I love the entire series of these seasonal books written by Kenard Pak, but this one may be my favorite as we say goodbye to winter and hello to the long-awaited season of spring! This book is perfect to explore repetition in written pieces and poetry, as well as the use of vivid word choice and figurative language to make writing come alive. Have students take what you discussed about making writing come alive by writing springtime poetry.

It's An Ant's Life written by Steve Parker

insect picture books for kids

When spring returns, so do the insects! Students are always so engaged when it comes to insects! This book is a fun one to share as it is written in a journal format from the perspective of an ant, making it a fictional book, chock full of facts and information about these pesky insects! A fun follow-up activity would be for students to pick a different insect or animal, research it, and then keep a journal as that creature!

How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball written by David Shannon

baseball read alouds for kids

You do not have to be a baseball lover to love this book! This book is perfect to practice just about every reading strategy including questioning, predicting, inferring, visualizing and finding the theme. Following a read-aloud of this baseball-themed picture book, and some reading strategy work, have students write about their favorite spring activity. It can be a full narrative piece or a simple paragraph, either way, students will love sharing what they love to do with their peers! 

Down Came the Rain written by Franklyn M Branley

rain and weather picture books for kids

Even though this book is labeled at stage 2, it includes so much information and scientific explanation about the water cycle and how rain is formed! Before reading this book, have students create an illustration of what they think is included in the water cycle and how rain is formed. Then dive in! Have students compare their drawings to the labeled illustrations found in the book. Following a reading, have your students make corrections to their drawings as needed. My kids love to borrow this one from our classroom library and read all the interesting precipitation facts over and over again!

Harlem Grown written by Tony Hillery

garden read alouds for kids

Harlem Grown is one of my new spring favorites! This picture book is based on a true story about Tony Hillery, the founder and director of Harlem Grown, a community garden in New York City. I love this book's message of identifying a problem and working together to fix it. It pairs perfectly with almost any unit: reading strategies, biographies, nonfiction reading, and procedural writing to name a few! I love using this book to write literary essays comparing and contrasting books and themes with the book The Curious Garden (spoiler alert it is the next book on this list!) You and your students will love this book and the note to followers at the end by Mr. Hillery.

                   The Curious Garden written by Peter Brown

spring read alouds for kids

As mentioned above, this book pairs perfectly with Harlem Grown. Bust out your Venn diagrams and compare and contrast every element of these two books! This book makes almost every one of my picture book lists because it can be revisited over and over all year long for different objectives. This book, loosely based on a true story, follows the main character as he works endlessly to bring a garden back to life. He ends up completely changing the community that lives in. Must read for spring and a must add to your classroom library!

How to Find a Bird written by Jennifer Ward

birds picture books for kids

This fun new picture book makes my spring read-aloud list for its amazing illustrations and clearly written procedural writing text. I love that so many different birds are included in this book AND clearly labeled to help students learn so much about birds. From common birds to bluebirds to extinct birds like the dodo, your students will ask you to stop on each page to see the illustrations! Follow up a read-aloud of this book by having your students write their own procedural writing piece on their favorite springtime activity or head outside and go on your bird walk! 

Bonus Teacher Tip: Have Owl Moon? I love Owl Moon! Have your kids compare and contrast this book to that classic and get ready to hear some amazing discourse among your students!

                         Nesting written by Henry Cole

april read alouds for kids

This springtime book's pages are as beautiful as the cover! The black and white pages help the beautiful turquoise robin's eggs stand out. There is so much learning that takes place with just one read-aloud of this book. From how birds build nests, to migrating in the winter and everything in between, this book will motivate each of your students to find robins and their blue eggshell pieces on their next spring hike! This book also has an author's note with facts about these amazing creatures, lending itself to having your students research a bird or animal of their choice.

Miss Rumphius written by Barbara Cooney

free miss rumphius activities for kids

A read-aloud of this all-time favorite is perfect to welcome spring! This book is truly perfect for any lesson character analysis and finding themes in literature. Miss Rumphius is given the task to make the world a more beautiful place, which in turn becomes her life mission. This book also lends itself to discussions about kindness, doing good, and how every person can play a part in changing and helping the world. Have your students take a blank piece of paper and create an illustration to represent how they can make the world a more beautiful place.

Bonus Teacher Tip: Read this book in April to help kick off your Earth Day celebrations and learning!

Spring After Spring written by Stephanie Roth Sisson

april read alouds for kids

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement is a great book to pair with the fictional read-aloud of Miss Rumphius. It is also perfect to read around the time of Earth Day.  This biographical picture book tells about the life of Rachel Carson and how she loved and cared for the environment. Even as a child, she would observe, draw and write about the creatures she found in the environment. She grew up to and worked as a scientist studying how chemicals and pesticides hurt the delicate balance of nature. This book will surely bring out the ecologist in each of your students!

Is spring fever running rampant in your classroom? Harness that energy and excitement with reading to students and engaging them in meaningful discourse. These books and activities are just what you need! 

Happy spring and happy reading friends!

Grab the FREE activities for these books:

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? Try These!

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free spring activities for kids

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