Tag Archives: caring

20 Titles to Create a Classroom Community

11 Aug

school community

There’s a lot of talk about reading a book a day during the school year, the importance of reading aloud to students and the need to teach and show kids empathy and kindness in today’s world. This is a wonderful list of titles that you can share at any time of year, but would make a great way to start the school year – expecting kindness from every student in the classroom and using picture books to show that expectation.

  1. You’re Finally Here! by Mélanie Watt
  2. One by Kathryn Otoshi
  3. I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
  4. Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
  5. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  6. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  7. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
  8. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
  9. Be A Friend by Salina Yoon
  10. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
  11. Zen Ties by Jon Muth
  12. Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose and Hannah Hoose, illustrated by Debbie Tilley
  13. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
  14. Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
  15. Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
  16. It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
  17. Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  18. The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds
  19. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea
  20. We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

How Can We Teach Children Empathy?

5 Oct

empathy.pngEmpathy, in my humble opinion, is one of those things that is vital to a caring, respectful and well-balanced individual.  Empathy, or “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” is severely lacking in a world where shooting unarmed individuals, massive terrorist attacks and outright violence is astoundingly common. (Google) Maybe it’s partly because of the world we live in – where social media means world news is at your finger tips and media outlets are reporting news on a 24/7 basis. That being said, we need to teach children now to celebrate differences, to share their feelings and to be empathetic.

So how can we teach children to be empathetic to family and friends, to the people in their community and to the people in the world around them?  A lot of teaching can be done at home with adults, siblings, relatives, and pets, while teachers and schools can create communities of caring to encourage children to be empathetic to their classmates, teachers, and school staff.  And a lot of teaching, discussing and understanding can come from reading stories.  Books teach children about themselves, but also gives children the opportunity to look at the world from another perspective.

Take a look at what Melissa from Imagination Soup guest posted at All the Wonders about empathy.  And if you want an author’s perspective, check out what Sara Pennypacker has to say about her book, Pax on Brightly.  And your resources don’t have to stop there – the Washington Post provides a list of 24 books from Preschool through High School that show kindness an empathy.  Although I haven’t gotten a chance to put together my list of books about empathy, I have created a great list of 25 books with characters set outside the United States to give a more global perspective to kids, so you can definitely check that out as well.

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