I love bringing character education to life for my students. It’s so important to help students focus on the lessons and take advantage of the time to dive deep into the pillars. This post will focus on the character education month of generosity. I always kick off the year with kindness, which you can read here, or teach in any order that makes sense to you! These generosity read alouds are sure to inspire students.
Teach lessons about generosity with age-appropriate books.
This post will showcase my favorite picture books for teaching generosity. You can read a new title over the course of several weeks, or you can make it part of your free-read time in class. Generosity read alouds are great for facilitating discussions and helping students internalize what they learn.
Two sisters secretly try to outdo each other with generosity. Each new gift from one sister to the other is a secret from everyone but their mother.
Winter is coming and Rabbit needs to find food fast. In the nick of time, he finds a turnip. And another. Who wouldn’t be tucking away extra food for the winter? Well, not Rabbit, he gets a different idea and spreads generosity to forest friends.
An elderly woman named Sarah watches children gathering at the bus stop. Although they don’t seem to notice her, she notices them. Especially that little boy with no mittens. Sarah knits and pair and places them in the tree for him to discover the next day. It soon becomes a game for all the children, looking for new mittens.
Another sweet story that includes knitting! Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for the neighborhood, and Sophia helps with making pom-poms. Knitting is much too hard! But now that winter is here, Sophia sees that Mrs. Goldman doesn’t have her own hat. She’s been too busy knitting for everyone else. Sophia decides to try and make something special for someone she loves.
Andy’s hardworking family gets their own house at last by joining a community program that restores old, abandoned houses.
A cute story about the best sick day ever! Amos McGee loves his animal friends at the zoo. He visits every chance he gets! But when he is too sick to go see his friends, they decide they need to return the favor.
This story is based on the author’s experience with a blizzard in 1978, one which brought 53” of snow to his town in Rhode Island. The book follows the excitement of the first snowflake into the transformation of the town into a foreign whitescape. We also see the little boy transform into a hero putting others’ needs first.
There’s little left in Katje’s Holland town after World War II. One spring morning, mysterious boxes begin to arrive on the doorstep. They are full of soap, socks, and chocolate! An American girl all the way in Indiana is part of a goodwill effort to help the people of Europe. Katje sends a letter of thanks, beginning an exchange that surprises both the girls.
The main character is a bicycle, which begins its life in North America. After being owned and ridden by a young boy, the bike is donated to an organization that ships bikes to Africa. In West Africa, it travels to several people depdning on their need. This book also makes a great cultural study.
Goldie’s neighbors are concerned when she doesn’t invite them for a meal of her famous cholent. They learn that she was too sick to cook, and everyone knows you can’t rush cholent. What can her neighbors do to save the day?
Delia and Jessie spend Saturdays with Shoebox Sam. They help with customers, rich and poor. They learn about giving, caring, loving, and sharing. Then one day, a customer notices a prized pair of shoes, and the girls uncover the greatest lesson of all.
Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s stew! They follow their noses to the stew, and one by one, Omu shares a portion of her meal. But will she be too generous and have nothing left for herself?
Louise loves art more than anything, and she is determined to create her masterpiece! She also loves Art, her little brother.
Every day after school, Luisa goes to see her mama work. She works hard and hardly smiles, but when she does it is beautiful. Each night she puts her tip money into special envelopes she saves for Luisa. It’s Mama’s birthday soon, and Luisa has a plan to make her mama truly happy.
What do you love including in your class library for character education? Share your favorite generosity read alouds, lessons and activities in the comments below, or join our conversation on Facebook and Instagram. You can also get my bundle of Character Education resources here.
Character Education Curriculum: Generosity
It will equip you with an entire toolbox of materials to help your students develop and practice positive character traits. The comprehensive resources promotes generosity as well as all the other pillars in character education.