Looking for the best March read alouds for the classroom? These picture books for read alouds in March for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics such as Women’s History Month, Read Across America, Dr. Seuss Day and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
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READ ACROSS AMERICA
Read Across America is generally held the first week of March. In the past, it was mostly a celebration of Dr. Seuss, but it has evolved to celebrate reading all across the United States. These books are meant to be a celebration of America, its diversity and features books from several states to focus on reading “across” America.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all . . . When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource. A great book for focusing on Native Americans / Indigenous Peoples and activism.
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon. Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past. A great book if you’re looking at America’s natural beauty.
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson
When Papa decides to pull up roots and move from Iowa to Oregon, he can’t bear to leave his precious apple trees behind. Or his peaches, plums, grapes, cherries, and pears. Oh, and he takes his family along too. But the trail is cruel. First there’s a river to cross that’s wider than Texas, then there are hailstones as big as plums, and then there’s even a drought, sure to crisp the cherries.
Luckily Delicious (the nonedible apple of Daddy’s eye) won’t let anything stop her father’s darling saps from tasting the sweet Oregon soil. A hilarious tall tale from the team that brought you Fannie in the Kitchen that’s loosely based on the life of a real fruiting pioneer.
You Are Home by Evan Turk
Beneath the soaring doorways of stone,
and peaks that pierce the ceiling of clouds,
from every river, star, and stone
comes the eternal refrain:
you are home.
In simple, soaring language and breathtaking art, acclaimed author-illustrator Evan Turk has created a stirring ode to nature and nation. From the rugged coast of Maine to the fiery volcanoes of Hawaii, You Are Home reminds us that every animal, plant, and person helps make this land a brilliant, beautiful sanctuary of life. Every time I read this book, I imagine Jeff Bridges reading it.
The Camping Trip That Changed America by Barb Rosenstock
Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in this little-known but important story from our nation’s history. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.
Thirty Minutes Over Oregon by Marc Tyler Nobleman
In this important and moving true story of reconciliation after war, beautifully illustrated in watercolor, a Japanese pilot bombs the continental U.S. during WWII—the only enemy ever to do so—and comes back 20 years later to apologize.
The devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, drew the United States into World War II in 1941. But few are aware that several months later, the Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita dropped bombs in the woods outside a small town in coastal Oregon. This is the story of those bombings, and what came after, when Fujita returned to Oregon twenty years later, this time to apologize.
Twenty-One Steps by Jeff Gottesfeld
Keeping vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery, are the sentinel guards, whose every step, every turn, honors and remembers America’s fallen 24/7/365 regardless of whether or not it’s Memorial Day or not. They protect fellow soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, making sure they are never alone. To stand there—with absolute precision, in every type of weather, at every moment of the day, one in a line uninterrupted since midnight July 2, 1937—is the ultimate privilege and the most difficult post to earn in the army. Everything these men and women do is in service to the Unknowns. Their standard is perfection.
All the Way to America by Dan Yaccarino
Dan Yaccarino’s great-grandfather arrived at Ellis Island an immigrant with a small shovel and his parents’ good advice: “Work hard, but remember to enjoy life, and never forget your family.” With simple text and warm, colorful illustrations, Yaccarino recounts how the little shovel was passed down through four generations of this Italian-American family—along with the good advice.
It’s a story that will have kids asking their parents and grandparents: Where did we come from? How did our family make the journey all the way to America?
DR. SEUSS DAY
Dr. Seuss’ birthday is celebated each year on March 2nd. These are just a few of my favorite books to read for Dr. Seuss Day including some lesser known books.
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
The story of the Star-bellied Sneetches and their star-less friends is a perfect guide for kids growing up in today’s multicultural world.
There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss
In this silly Bright and Early Book classic by Dr. Seuss, a young boy goes exploring in his house and finds an array of fun characters! Are you certain there’s a Jertain in the curtain? Or have you ever had a feeling there’s a Geeling on the ceiling? From the pesky Nooth Grush on a tooth brush to a sleepy Zelf up on the shelf, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket will have young readers eager to explore their homes and the wonders of rhyming and wordplay.
Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.
Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and whimsical illustrations.
The inspiring and timeless message encourages readers to find the success that lies within, no matter what chall
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
A dreary day turns into a wild romp when this beloved story introduces readers to the Cat in the Hat and his troublemaking friends, Thing 1 and Thing 2. A favorite among kids, parents and teachers, this story uses simple words and basic ryhme to encourage and delight beginning readers.
Then he said “That is that.”
And then he was gone
With a tip of his hat.
I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! by Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat can read in purple and in brown, in a circle and even upside down! Can he teach Young Cat to do the same? A perfect stepping stone for emerging readers to show off their skills, this book will show kids all the wonderful ways and wonderful things you can read.
March is Women’s History Month and there are now a great many diverse Women’s History Month books. These are a few of the best for a variety of grade levels, but you can find even more books about diverse women here.
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
Inspired by the story of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars floating gliding and discovering. Follow Mae as she learns that if you can dream it and you work hard for it, anything is possible.
Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Denise
An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.
When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.
For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George
She grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. Discover Malala’s story through this powerful narrative telling, and come to see how one brave girl named Malala changed the world.
Danza!: Amalia Hernández And Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh
As a child, Amalia Hernández saw a pair of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew one day she would become a dancer.
Amalia studied ballet and modern dance under the direction of skilled teachers who had performed in world-renowned dance companies. But she never forgot the folk dance she had seen years earlier. She began traveling through the Mexican countryside, witnessing the dances of many regions, and she used her knowledge of ballet and modern dance to adapt the traditional dances to the stage. She founded her own dance company, a group that became known as el Ballet Folklórico de México.
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
The inspirational true story of Ruby Bridges. The year is 1960, and six-year-old Ruby Bridges and her family have recently moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in search of a better life. When a judge orders Ruby to attend first grade at William Frantz Elementary, an all-white school, Ruby must face angry mobs of parents who refuse to send their children to school with her.
Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows In The Bronx / La Juez Que Crecio En El Bronx by Jonah Winter
Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation’s highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn’t have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed — her mother’s love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be, and with hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor bloomed for the whole world to see.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.
Frida Kahlo And Her Animalitos by Monica Brown
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, written by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra, is based on the life of one of the world’s most influential painters, Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life.
The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form.
FIRST DAY OF SPRING
The first day of spring is at the end of March each year. These are a few great books about getting outside and noticing all of the beautiful changes that spring brings!
Outside In by Deborah Underwood
Outside is waiting, the most patient playmate of all. The most generous friend. The most miraculous inventor. This thought-provoking picture book poetically underscores our powerful and enduring connection with nature, not so easily obscured by lives spent indoors. A great book for adding in poetry to your classroom.
Sugarbush Spring by Marsha Wilson Chall
In the month of the Maple Sugar Moon, the snow’s too wet for angel making, icicles rain from Grandpa’s porch roof, and something is stirring in the woods. It’s sugarbush spring–time to tap the trees, prepare the bottles, then gather round the cook fire to eat chicken and dumplings, roast marshmallows, and tell stories while the cold sap heats through, thickens, and boils to make syrup.
City Green by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan
Right in the middle of Marcy’s city block is a vacant lot, littered and forlorn. Sometimes just looking at it makes Marcy feel sad. Then one spring, Marcy has a wonderful idea: Instead of a useless lot, why not a green and growing space for everyone to enjoy?
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
One boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time.
While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.
This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
The inspiring story of how William Kamkwamba used discarded and recycled materials to save his home and his village in Africa by building a windmill.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
“Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy.” So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk . . . and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older, he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.
Best March Read Alouds
What are some of your favorite March read alouds? Are there any must read March read alouds that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!