Character Education: Kindness Picture Books
Now more than ever, I see the need to focus on character education in the classroom. It’s so important to focus on your character education lessons right from the start to help empower your class and build a positive classroom community. You can read more about how I kick off my year of Character Education HERE.
Today, I’m sharing with you my favorite picture books for teaching kindness. You can read a new title over the course of several weeks as you discuss kindness, or you can make it part of your library or free-reads in class.
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
This is such a sweet story about how an ordinary girl with a very ordinary life creates a chain reaction of kindness across the world with her one kind deed.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
I love this book because it is specifically about children finding ways to be kind in big and small ways. It’s a great opportunity to talk about the difference our actions can make in helping friends.
Kindness is My Superpower by Alicia Ortego
This is a beautiful book about Lucas and his superpower. It’s a good springboard for discussing with students how we can be kind in all settings, not just at school and with our friends. This book also includes Acts of Kindness Cards that you can use with your students or inspire them to create their own.
Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox
A group of kids from the neighborhood learn to love things in their everyday life. If you’re looking to teach about enjoying simplicity, and finding peace in the everyday nuances of life, this is a really great option.
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
A funny story about turning an enemy into a friend. To deal with a neighborhood enemy, Dad suggests baking Enemy Pie. Trouble is, it includes spending a whole day playing with said enemy. It’s ultimately a very cute story about the value of making friends.
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
Everyone knows the Golden Rule, but where does it come from, and what does it mean? This is a lovely story about a grandfather explaining to his grandson the importance of the Golden Rule.
Somebody Loves You Mr Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
A lonely Mr. Hatch receives a Valentine from a secret admirer and gains a new outlook on life. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a post office mistake. This leads to Mr. Hatch’s friends coming together to show that he truly is loved.
Hugo by Atinuke
Hugo the pigeon watches after the park and everyone who lives there. Well, except for Somebody who never opens the curtains. Then one day, Somebody comes to their rescue. Your students will love learning about friendship and community.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
A weekly bus journey that’s boring and disappointing is met with a Nana’s enthusiasm to see the beauty in routine and loving what you have.
Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light by Apryl Stott
Poor Bear can’t make friends because everyone thinks he’s mean due to his size. Human Coco decides to help him make friends with the other animals. This is a story perfect for explaining that kindness must come from the heart.
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
Brian is invisible. He’s not noticed or included in anything. Then Justin, a new student, arrives and changes everything.
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
A story about missing out on opportunities to show kindness comes in the form of Chloe who constantly turns away Maya when she asks to play. The answer is always no. Maya is always playing by herself. An excellent read for students to consider what their actions mean to others.
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
Have you ever heard your students complain how “everyone else has…”? You’ll love this story about Jeremy, who just wants the shoes that everyone else has, even when his grandma tells him there’s a difference between “want” and “need”.
Lend a Hand: Poems About Giving by John Frank
This book of poems emphasizes giving, compassion, and kindness. Each poem represents diverse voices and different ages and backgrounds. It’s a beautiful collection.
Continue building a positive culture in your classroom and empower students to be their best selves with this kindness resource.
It equips you with an entire toolbox of materials to help your students develop and practice positive character traits. The comprehensive resource promotes kindness 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!
What have you enjoyed incorporating into your character education month of kindness? Share your favorite read alouds, activities, and lessons with us in the comments below, or join the conversation on social media.