Introduction: All students are nervous on the first day of school. To ease some of the first day
jitters and help students understand that they are not alone in their feelings, teachers or librarians can share the poem
"First Day of School."
First Day of School
By: Maria Fleming
In summertime the butterflies
dance 'round our dogwood tree.
Now summer's done and school's begun,
they're fluttering in me.
Will my teacher like me?
Will I make new friends?
Will I learn to write my name
before the school year ends?
Look! There's my teacher now-
she winks as I walk in.
And a boy with a friendly, freckled face
just flashed me a wide grin.
We learn to write the alphabet-
and it's only the first day!
Hey, I think those butterflies
are fluttering away!
I'll see you soon, my sunny friends,
back where you belong-
dancing 'round the dogwood tree
when summer sings it song.
Taken from: Poem of the Week. Scholastic (1997)
Extension: To allow children to meet thier classmates the teacher should have butterfly cutouts in various
colors. She should pass them out randomly to all of the students. The students should then find the student(s) that
have their same color to meet and learn something about their new classmates.
For older students, the teacher or librarian could lead a discussion on figurative language. Ask the students
if the character in the poem literally has butterflies in his/her stomach. Students could brainstorm other
idioms and illustrate the idiom of their choice.