8 Books to Teach Social Skills to Kids in Your Classroom

Teaching social skills to children is a key part of their development, and educators are always looking for effective tools to facilitate this growth. Books can be exceptional allies in this mission, offering stories and scenarios that kids can relate to and learn from. Here are 8 books that can help teach social skills to the kids in your classroom:

1. “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud – This book encourages positive behavior through the concept that everyone has an invisible bucket that holds their good thoughts and feelings. It teaches children how to express kindness, appreciation, and love to fill others’ buckets.

2. “My Mouth Is a Volcano!” by Julia Cook –This entertaining book helps children learn about self-control and how to manage the impulse to speak before others are finished talking, emphasizing respect for others’ speaking turns.

3. “We’re All Wonders” by R.J. Palacio – Based on her longer novel “Wonder,” Palacio’s picture book introduces younger readers to Auggie Pullman, a boy with facial differences who teaches us all about acceptance and empathy.

4. “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig – This story showcases Brian, a quiet child who feels invisible at school, until a new kid arrives. It highlights inclusivity, friendship, and noticing those who could be overlooked.

5. “Listening with My Heart” by Gabi Garcia – A gentle reminder for kids about the importance of being kind not only to others but also to themselves, this story focuses on self-compassion and empathy.

6. “Stick and Stone” by Beth Ferry – This tale of friendship between Stick and Stone offers an adventure that includes facing bullies, helping friends in need, and sticking together through tough times.

7. “What If Everybody Did That?” by Ellen Javernick – This book provokes thought about consequences of our actions on the community. Every time the main character commits a small act of social disobedience, he learns about responsibility.

8. “Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners” by Laurie Keller – A fun read with playful illustrations that outline how otters (and children) should treat each other with kindness, honesty, consideration, and politeness.

Incorporating these books into your classroom can open up discussions on compassion, respect, understanding differences, being responsible citizens within a community, and so much more! By using these engaging texts as tools, you’ll be able to guide your students in developing the social skills they need for both school and life.

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