Some of the most important things that we as elementary teachers teach are social emotional skills. One of my favorite ways to teach feelings is through books!
Today i’m going to show you some of my favorite books to teach SEL in the classroom. These are books that I use for whole group lessons, put in our classroom calm down corner, and add to our classroom library.
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Today I’m a Monster / In this book, the main character wakes up in a bad mood. Things happen throughout the day and how his mood affects how he acts and reacts. He even says that he acts bad because he wants to show others how bad he is feeling inside. How many of our kids feel that way sometimes?
I also love the message at the end – his mom tells him that she knows that these actions aren’t him. She loves him no matter what his mood. That’s so powerful for kids!
Grumpy Monkey / In this book, the main characters is grumpy. All of his friends try to give him advice and tell him what he needs to do to be happy again, but it just makes him grumpier.
In the end, he finds another friend who is in a bad mood. They end up being together in their grumpiness and it makes them feel a little better. This book has a great message for kids – sometimes we just feel grumpy or need to be alone and that’s ok! All feelings are valid.
The Rabbit Listened / This is another great book about accepting our emotions. In this story, the main character is sad because his tower fell down. All of his friends try to get him to talk about it or rebuild his tower or think positive, but he just needs to be sad for a while.
In the end, the rabbit comes and just sits with him as he’s sad. When he’s finally ready to talk about what happened, the rabbit listens without saying anything. Then, he helps him rebuild his tower when the boy is feeling better again. This is also a great message for kids about what they can do when their friend is sad.
The Happy Book / Despite its name, this book isn’t just about feeling happy. In this book, the character travels through different emotions as things happen throughout his day. This is a great book to show how we can experience a lot of different emotions, even in just one short period.
When You Are Brave / This book talks about times when kids might feel worried – when they are going to a new place, when they are meeting new friends, etc. But then it also talks about ways to help themselves feel calm and be brave in these situations.
This is a great book if you have students who struggle with anxiety which may look like having constant stomach aches or needing control.
Wild Feelings / There are so many great books to teach students about their feelings, but I love this one and I have it in my classroom calm down corner. This books talks about the different feels people can feel and how normal they are.
Quote from the book: Do you ever feel as stubborn as a mule? Or as chicken as a chicken? Of course you do. Everyone does.
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too / This is another book that I have in my classroom calm down corner. This is a very simple book, and at first I thought it was too simple, but i’ve ended up loving it. This is an easy book to pull out if you need a short, to the point story.
This book is for your kiddos who don’t want to admit that they are sad or mad or worried. It helps to normalize emotions and shows that even the toughest people have hard days.
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days and Even Superheroes Make Mistakes / Another two amazing superhero books! These books are very similar in format to the How Do Dinosaurs….? books. They talk about what superheroes could do when they have a bad day or when they make a mistake.. but then they talk about what superheroes would actually do, which are the choices we want our students to make.
I love these because it shows students that it’s ok to mess up or to have an off day, but it’s how we react that is important.
My Magic Breath / There are a few different books that I love for teaching mindfulness and deep breathing, but this is one of my favorites and I keep it in my classroom calm down corner too.
This is a great book to help students visualize how their deep breaths are helping them calm their bodies and minds.
These were just a few of my favorite books to teach social emotional skills in the classroom! I have a whole ideas page full of more favorite SEL books on Amazon here:
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