First Day Jitters
by Julie Danneberg

Wonderful story about the first day of school and a surprise ending! This book is a wonderful read for the first day of school.



jitters clammy crowded nervous
principal teacher trudged moaned
gushed fumbled nonsense nervous
school building toast covers
Vocabulary Word Wall Strips from




  • new beginnings
  • feelings/emotions
  • dealing with new situations
Reader's Response:
  • Why does the first day of school make us feel nervous and excited?
  • Why do you think Sarah was afraid to go to school?
  • How did you feel when you realized Sarah was the teacher?
Comprehension Strategies:
  • Making Connections - Model through think-alouds any text-self, text-text, and text-word connections you had with the story (example: This reminds me of the first year I began teaching....)
  • Questioning - Questioning Strategy Lesson
  • Visualizing - Have students make a picture in their minds of Mr. trying to get Sarah to go to school.
Compare & Contrast: Use this Venn Diagram to show how teachers and students get ready for the first day of school.

Dear Sarah - Have students write a letter to Sarah persuading or encouraging her for the first day of school.

Advice Column: Students write an advice column that answers the questions "How to Overcome First Day Jitters".  This activity can be turned into a bulletin board.

More Resources:

Activity Guide First Day Jitters Slideshow How to Soothe Your Students' First Day Jitters Back to School Resources





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