Character Education: Courage Picture Books

Bring your Character Education month of courage up a notch with empowering reads like these! I love incorporating picture books into my Character Education months because it gives us a jumping-off point for discussion, as well as provides examples for my students to refer to. Check out one of my previous posts here.

Teach Your Students Courageous Character

Today, I’m sharing my favorite picture books for teaching courage. You can read a new title over the course of several weeks as you discuss courage, or you can make it part of your library or free-read space in the classroom.

After the Fall by Dan Santat

Everyone knows what happened to Humpty Dumpty on that wall. But what about after?

Courage Is… by Jason Kander

Veteran and activist Jason Kander explains simply what everyday courage looks like. It’s not just the absence of fear, but doing scary things anyway. Sometimes that means going to the dentist, trying new foods, or asking for help.

I Am Courage by Susan Verde

Encourage your students to find their inner strength by understanding how to face challenges even when our mind says, “I can’t.”

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

When a huge black dog appears outside of the family home, it is the smallest girl in the family who shows the courage to face the dog.

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright

A mouse who feels small and insecure decides he must learn from the lion. Turns out, the lion is afraid of mice! This inspiring tale shows that we all have a mouse and lion inside us.

If I Never Forever Endeavor by Holly Meade

A fledgling struggles with facing the challenge of leaving the nest and learning to fly. A lovely story about never knowing your abilities unless you try hard things.

Parachute by Danny Parker

Tobey doesn’t like heights, so he always carries a parachute to feel safe. One day he must use his parachute to save his cat from a tree, leaving him stuck and without his security.

Brave Irene by William Steig

Mrs. Bobbin is unwell, and can’t possibly deliver the beautiful ballgown to the duchess to wear this evening. Luckily, little Irene volunteers, despite the fierce snowstorm brewing.

Brave Ninja by Mary Nhin

A comedic story about developing courage. Sometimes, it helps to be brave even when we aren’t feeling brave.

Right Now I Am Brave by Dr. Daniela Owen

Teach your students techniques that teach them to be brave with positive affirmations and goal-setting. Our brains may sometimes trick us into thinking we can’t do something scary, but we can conquer fear and overcome doubts.

Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai

Inspired by her own childhood, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai inspires children to find the magic around them.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

A dramatic story of Henry, a slave who mails himself to freedom. Based on a true story from the Underground Railroad.

When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller

Some days, when everything around you is scary, you have to be brave. This story encourages kids to embrace their inner light no matter what they are facing.

The Dandelion Seed by Joseph P. Anthony

A simple and charming story about a dandelion seed who is too afraid to let go. Despite its worries, the little seed finds the world is far more beautiful than imagined.

I am always looking to add to my library and find new ideas and activities to share with my students. What are your favorite ways to teach courage into character education? If you have any read alouds or activities you love for teaching courage, please share below! Be sure to also check out my year-long Character Education Bundle for all your curriculum needs.

Character Education Curriculum: Courage

It equips you with an entire toolbox of materials to help your students develop and practice positive character traits. The comprehensive resource promotes courage and includes a variety of print and digital resources. In addition to these read aloud texts you’ve just seen, I also have bulletin boards, pacing guide, anchor chart, posters, calendars, reflection pages, and much more! 

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