Using children’s literature to build social, emotional, and literacy skills is always a focus when I teach. I love when I can use one book for so many engaging lessons and build my classroom community. Whether you have a classroom of 25 students or a family of a few kiddos, this book (and others at the end of this post) are wonderful learning opportunities and seeds to further discussion with your learners.
Social & Emotional Learning: Children’s Literature
I’m loving this book, Have You Filled A Bucket Today?, by Carol McCloud.
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This is a great book for parents and teachers looking to provide examples and ideas for children about treating others with kindness, showing appreciation, and being respectful. Although the book focuses on providing positive examples, there are also examples of what happens when a person is not being nice to a friend or family member. The conversations generated by reading this book provides opportunities for comparing and contrasting how our actions impact others.
Social & Emotional Learning: Character Traits
This book can also be a spring board to discuss the term “character traits” during a literacy lesson. There are a variety of character traits such as giving, kindness, helping others, and feeling good about doing good for others are a few. Besides a literacy, social, and emotional lesson focus, you could easily use this to build community within a classroom or family setting. This book is great to establish the “character traits” of classroom family members or even family members. Whether this book is used in a large classroom or the smaller family unit, great conversations will certainly unfold.
Social & Emotional Learning: Picture Books
Teaching students social and emotional skills can be challenging. There are many perspectives and experiences outside of the classroom that impact topical discussion.
However, over the years, I have found common ground to teach using children’s literature. These books build social, emotional, and literacy skills simultaneously. This is always a great compromise to the character sharing story line where the message is taught and the demands for learning.
Whether you have a classroom of 25 students or a family of a few kiddos, this resource holds wonderful learning opportunities and seeds to further discussion with your learners. Get this FREE SEL Resource and start using picture books to provide valuable discussion about social emotional skills.
Here are some additional books that you may like to use for your classroom and family! I’ve used each of these books for a variety of lessons; however, my main focus was building classroom community first. Throughout the year, I can read these books again with a learning lesson focus – usually literacy – either a reading skill/strategy or writing author’s craft. My kiddos still loved listening to these books each time with a different focus lens.
Social & Emotional Learning: Spreading Kindness
Another springboard is to engage children in an art lesson by making a bucket for oneself and/or others, then looking for the positives to build up others’ buckets. The children can easily relate to and feel happy about bringing others happiness. Notes can be written or pictures drawn (littles) on small pieces of paper and deposited into the buckets. At the end of the day, the notes can be shared with the class or family to celebrate each other.
Social & Emotional Learning: Related Resources
Check out the Bucket Filler website! There are a variety of resources available to assist the lessons that you plan to teach. Here are some great posts to check out.
Social & Emotional Learning: Final Thoughts
Whether you are building classroom community, family dynamics, or teaching literacy, social or emotional lessons, this is a great book that kiddos of all ages ~ yes, even middle and high school students enjoy a great picture book.
I’ve shared a variety of opportunities to use this book in the classroom and at home. Do you see why I’m loving this book!!! I hope you are able to walk away with some ideas to use picture books to teach social emotional and literacy skills. Using children’s literature is a perfect way to engage all learners, regardless of age to teach a variety of skills.