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Must Read Books About Compassion!

July 13, 2015 6 Comments
Happy Monday! I’m so excited to be linking up with Suzanne over at  Kindergarten Planet and Alex at The Kindergarten Connection for their weekly linky party Must Read Monday!

This week we are sharing our top picture book picks for teaching young learners about compassion.  This is such an important lesson to teach students and something that’s especially necessary at the beginning of the school year.  My incoming firsties are just learning to share and act respectfully so I have found that these picture books always help in building a compassionate environment when we come back in September.

Character education and building a classroom community is top priority in my room especially at the beginning of the year.  So, I’m always looking for new and engaging ideas to encourage my students to be kind kids and show compassion towards others.  These are some titles that help me accomplish that and share that message, especially during morning meeting or our read aloud time.  I hope you’ll find some new picture books to help model and teach compassion and respect to your incoming students.  Such an important skill for our little loves to learn!

 Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon

 A classic and instant favorite with my students! Stellaluna is a tale about a little bat who is knocked out of her mother’s embrace by an owl and lands into a bird’s nest.  My students love to hear Stellaluna’s journey back to her mother and who she meets along the way.  

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens

This book was introduced to me a year ago by a student’s family and it has become a quick favorite.  The prairie dogs live very comfortably until a strange item (a tennis ball) comes and wrecks havoc on their community.  After a frenzy erupts caused by the tennis ball, the prairie dogs have to band together to help a friend in need.  

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

This sweet tale has quickly become a picture book classic.  Amos visits his friends at the zoo every day and shows students that friends can come in all different sizes and shapes.  But when Amos is sick, his zoo animals come up with a way to return the favor!

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson

Bear Feels Sick and other Bear books are so sweet and perfect for lower elementary students.  In this story, Bear is feeling under the weather and isn’t able to play with his friends.  So in order to help, his friends come up with different ways to help Bear until he feels better. Bear’s friends teach children how to show compassion in the sweetest ways.

The Teddy Bear by David McPhail

Most young children will easily relate to this story of a young boy who loses his precious teddy bear. Throughout the story the little boy begins to learn compassion after losing his treasured friend and finding it again.

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Willaims

This is a classic and award winning story that I always use at the beginning of the school year.  It can be used to teach compassion as well as small moment writing in writer’s workshop.  In this meaningful story, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother have to adjust after a fire destroys their home.  The family come together to save money to buy a comfortable chair for all to enjoy.

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

This is a very meaningful and significant story to share with your students.  Jeremy wants a pair of “those” shoes that everyone at school has.  But, Jeremy’s grandmother says that they don’t have the means to buy the shoes that everyone at school has.  But, Jeremy’s grandmother says that they don’t have the means to buy the shoes and can only afford the things that they absolutely need.  Jeremy has to learn the hard way that the most important things are not in fact things but people.  
These are just a few titles that I use to teach compassion to my students.  I usually use these books with an accompanying activity or team building exercise.  How do you teach your students to show each other compassion?  I’d love to hear from you! 
 I hope you’ll link back to the other blogs to get more ideas of fantastic picture books to help teach compassion.  Interested in joining in on this link up??  Here is the schedule for the next few weeks!
Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by!


  • Sweet Sweet Primary July 13, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I need to get Those Shoes and read it to my teenagers! Thanks for sharing, Jayme.

  • Erin Murphy July 13, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    You have chosen some incredibly amazing books!! So many of my favorites made it into your post!! I don't have Those Shoes or The Teddy Bear, but those are most definitely going on my Wish List! I forgot all about Stellaluna, such a great choice!! Did you know she has a similar book called Verdi about a green python?? So awesome!!!
    Thank you so very much for sharing your book choices with us, I really loved reading about new books and revisiting old favorites! You had such great book picks this week, thank you!!!!!

    Kindergarten Dragons

  • Suzanne July 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Jayme! I love Stellaluna!!! Such a sweet story. I haven't heard of "The Great Fuzz Frenzy", but I sure do like prairie dogs so I will have to check that out for sure! Seeing prairie dogs in Colorado when I visit my brothers is always a highlight of my trip. I am glad you linked up with us. Thanks for sharing some great book selections!
    Kindergarten Planet

  • Unknown July 13, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Hi there! Oh my goodness I just HAVE to get "The Great Fuzz Frenzy!" It sounds so fun! I bet that is definitely a hit in the classroom!

  • Unknown July 14, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Great reads! I love these books. šŸ™‚
    Mrs.B's Classroom Adventures

  • Unknown July 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    I had forgotten about A Chair for My Mother…that is a great example. Also Stellaluna…definitely a "must read!" šŸ™‚

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    Hi! Iā€™m Jayme! A former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom sharing toddler activities, mom tips, and educational resources to help you learn and play with your children. I believe in the power of PLAY and creating meaningful activities for you and your little ones to enjoy together.

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