How do you teach your students about empathy and kindness? Over the last 20+ years I have dedicated more and more time to teaching character development themes and social skills in general.
One of the most effective tools we have as teachers is great literature. Through stories, students can imagine, empathize and understand how others feel. They can realize that feelings they have are shared by others. These are essential skills for little ones!
Below are some of my favorite read-alouds for teaching empathy and kindness. Click on any cover for a peek inside the books and a full description and reviews.
EMPATHY BOOK LIST
Click on any title for a full review.
The Invisible Boy by Patrice Barton
Chrysanthemum – A lovely story by Kevin Henkes for all of us who have unusual names, or know people in our classrooms with different names.
Hey, Little Ant by Philip and Hannah Hoose
One by Kathryn Otoshi
The Sneetches and Other Stories – This is an older but still very relevant story by Dr. Seuss that still resonates with students by exploring the feelings of belonging and acceptance.
The Butter Battle Book – Another Dr. Seuss favorite about making assumptions about other people and the consequences of lacking compassion for others.
It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr
Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
Elmer by David McKee
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
Enemy Pie by Derek Munsen
Social Emotional Learning RESOURCES
You may also be interested in this bundle of social skills lessons for your classroom. Click HERE to see a detailed preview with FREE instant downloads of printable resources! Included is a complete set of downloadable emotions posters to use with playdoh or dry erase markers.
You can choose the full year curriculum pictured below, or choose each individual unit that meets the needs of your classroom and students.
Pin this list for later.