When students are kind to one another and show respect to you and their classmates, those acts of kindness reverberate both inside your classroom and in the community, too.
Your classroom library is an excellent resource to help students understand just how important it is to be nice to one another. Social-emotional learning helps students learn how to cope with their own emotions and practice empathy towards others.
Cultivating a community of kindness leads to a positive classroom environment. Here are five books — plus fun and engaging activities and discussion prompts — to inspire kindness in your classroom.
Shop all books about kindness and manners at The Teacher Store.
1. The Friendship Tree
In Clark the Shark Dares to Share, Clark learns that sharing is caring, but his teacher doesn't seem to appreciate it when he tries to share his new dance moves, and his teammates aren't impressed when he tries to share his reef-hockey skills. Eventually, Clark’s friends have to teach him to how to share.
After reading the book, encourage all of your students to recall a lesson they learned from a friend or loved one. Then, use a Friendship Tree to share those lessons with the whole class. This is how it works:
First, create a tree on a wall in your classroom with branches that are easily accessible for your students.
Next, cut out a paper heart for each student and yourself, and write everyone’s names on it.
Model the activity by sharing a lesson you learned from a friend, then sum up that lesson in a few words on your paper heart before placing it on the Friendship Tree.
Call on students one by one and have them share their lessons. Sum each lesson up and give them their paper hearts to place on a tree branch.