Every student has a tough day at school every now and then. But learning how to manage frustration and be resilient is key to any child’s mental growth and social-emotional learning.

When students experience setbacks — whether it’s getting a bad grade on a test or not making the cut on the soccer team — it can negatively impact their mood. Using books with resilient characters is an excellent teaching tool that can help your students feel confident to move through whatever life may bring.

From enhancing students’ self awareness and promoting academic success to cultivating strong, positive relationships with others, developing resilience is critical for a child’s emotional health. Plus, it sets them up to thrive in and out of the classroom. 

Here are some ways you can use books to help build resilience in your students. 

Books About Building Resilience

Books are a great way to introduce coping strategies that help students overcome obstacles and manage negative thought patterns. Through engaging narratives, captivating illustrations, and relatable characters, books can teach students how to creatively solve their problems and develop resilience in the face of adversity. 

“Reading about characters having difficulty helps students feel that they are not alone,” says Kathleen Sahagian, a first-grade teacher in California. “Books are also a great way to help students feel like they are not the only ones who have a bad day.” 

Teachers can also use books to initiate conversations in the classroom about student resilience. 

In The Bad Guys in the Baddest Day Ever (The Bad Guys #10), the heroes are defeated and need to work together with the International League of Heroes to save the world. This highlights the power of leaning on community in the toughest of times for cultivating resilience and support.

Meanwhile, Bad Hair Day teaches students coping skills to turn challenging experiences into learning opportunities, further encouraging growth in resilient students and fostering mental health.

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