Looking for books to use with individual students, small groups, and in class lessons to support character education and lessons on caring. These titles are great ways to incorporate kindness into your lessons, promote a kindness challenge, or encourage kindness through a mindful moment.
My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems
Elephant and Piggie are at it again. Piggie is determined to cheer up his friend Elephant and does everything he can do show him he cares.
Activity: Have students draw out how they show their friends they care. Play an online match game at RIF.org.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE KIND by Rana DiOrio
Simple and inviting, this book is perfect for younger grades to introduce and teach about caring and kindness.
Activity: I love this FREEBIE color sheet.
NOT FAIR, WON’T SHARE!: A PINKY AND BLUE STORY by Lindsey Gardiner
Pinky and Blue are like most dogs and friends- they get along most of the time. Sometimes, however, Blue doesn’t want to share. These two friends learn how to resolve their conflict in a caring way.
Activity: This sharing is caring worksheet by Smart Kids.
KINDNESS IS COOLER, MRS. RULER by Margery Cuyler
Kindness is cool! This is the story of a teacher who challenges her students to find ways to show kindness, no matter how small the gesture.
Each Kindness by J. Woodson
This is a powerful story of the ripple effect (both positive and negative) our actions have. When a new student enters the school she is teased and excluded. One classmate starts to worry about her actions, but by the time she has a change of heart the new student is gone.
Activities: Read my full lesson right here.
We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio
Did you love the movie Wonder? Check out this beautiful picture book based on the chapter book.
Activity: Become a certified kind classroom by participating in Random House’s kindness classroom challenge. Author and publisher websites are often a great source for ideas and activities.
The Power of One by T. Ludwig
This book talks about the amazing power one person has to change the world for a better place. How one voice, one action, and one moment can make an impact.
Activity: Partner this with my activity packet and encourage cooperative learning with my task cards.
Finding Kindness by D. Underwood
This book is great for early elementary and introducing simple acts of kindness that go along way.
Activity: Share this book during a “Random Acts of Kindness” weekend encourage students to take pictures of their act. Then share the pictures on bulletin board or share virtually using one of these apps.
Meesha Makes Friends by T. Percival
So often when I ask my students how they can be friendly with a new student they say “be friends with them.” So it’s important we teach them how!
“Meesha doesn’t know quite what to do, what to say, or when to say it, and she struggles reading and responding to social cues. But one day, she discovers that she has a special talent that will help her navigate challenging social situations and make friends.”- Amazon
Activity: Role play social situations and you can use these cards to discuss other social situations.
The Invisible Boy by T. Ludwig
This book is one of my most favorite books of all time. It asks a power question, “which is worse being laughed at or feeling invisible?” You can use it to talk about the difference between mean acts and bullying and how including others shows them you care.
Activity: Read my full lesson here.
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by E. Pearson
One “ordinary” girl does a deed that starts a chain reaction of kindness.
Activity: Check out this FREEBIE writing activity on TPT.
I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët
Simple yet powerful, this book will encourage your school and community to stand up to bullying.
Activity: There are many great companion sets on TPT.
Those Shoes by M. Boelts
This book is so powerful to talk about empathy, kindness, needs vs wants and so much more.
Activity: Check out my full lesson on inference here.
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