Below is a list of 10 books that are GREAT to read to your class to support the very important social concept of “Getting Along With Others”
As you know, this concept is made up of many different social skills. The books below cover many of these skills in a fun and engaging way.
I own most of these great books and read them often to my social skills groups. The students love them and they elicit wonderful and meaningful discussions and also lend themselves to many fun extension activities. Some suggestions are included 🙂
I hope you find some books below that can help you when your students are experiencing challenges getting along with others.
Book 1: Talk It Out, Work It Out By Cheri J. Meiners M.ed
This is a great book for early elementary and or special education students. This book explicitly discusses how to talk and work out common problems kids might have when trying to get along. It’s a bit “dry” and I always worry that kids aren’t going to like it, but they always do! As you read this book, have children make connections to their own lives, role play short examples of talking and working small problems out.
Book 2: I Just Want To Do It My Way By Julia Cook
This book is appropriate for early-middle elementary and or special education students. The book helps children who can be controlling and stuck in their ways, start to think about being more flexible. Reading a book about another child who struggles with something that they struggle with, can be a great way to approach learning for a child who may be sensitive or resistant to correction. It’s also a great read for the whole class. Julia Cook’s books have humor and fun pictures that my students really like.
Book 3: Teamwork Isn’t My Thing And I Don’t Like To Share! By Julia Cook
This book is appropriate for early-middle elementary and or special education students. The book helps children who are struggling to work together with their peers. These children may want to do things by themselves, insist on always being in charge or be very bossy. Read this book to your class and ask, “does this ever happen to you?” You can role play some ways to work through issues around working as a team and sharing.
Book 4: Making Friends Is An Art By Julia Cook
This book is sweet and humorous. It is a fabulous book about a group of crayons learning how to get along and be friends. This book lends itself nicely to extension projects using arts & crafts. Great for early elementary.
Book 5: Up The Creek By Nicholas Oldland
I haven’t read this one but I want to! I think it will be great to read to children who need to work on settling arguments and decreasing bickering with others. Have any students like this? I do 🙂 This book looks appropriate for early to middle elementary.
Book 6: Do Unto Otters By Laurie Keller
First of all, the title of this book really cracks me up! Also, it’s a great book to help your whole class discuss “The Golden Rule.” Great for early to middle elementary. This is a great book to help a child who believes he/she is above the rules. This book can help them to understand the concept of treating others the way you want to be treated. After reading the book, have students make a list of ways they want to be treated, then draw a line and on the other side, write down ways they can treat others that same way.
Book 7: The Three Sillies By Sally Huss
This is another book that is on my “to buy” list. It looks like a very cute book that will help students think about getting along in a very sweet and non threatening way. I’m spending a lot of time supporting social skills in kindergarten these days and this book looks like one the kiddos will enjoy. Great for pre-early elementary.
Book 8: How To Lose All Your Friends By Nancy Carlson
Kids LOVE this book. It is a humorous story that tells you what behaviors will lose you friends, as the title suggests. It is funny and makes it’s point quite well. Kid’s find it hysterical. My only warning with this book is that it may not be the best choice for some students who perseverate on the negative. Those students may miss the point of this book, which is that you want to do the OPPOSITE of what the story talks about, i.e. we want to NOT do these things in order to KEEP our friends. That said, most kids get this sarcasm and really enjoy it.
Book 9: What If Everybody Did That? By Ellen Javernick
This is currently my favorite book to read in a social skills group. It has such a great message, discussing how to get along with larger groups of people. The book gives many examples of what would happen if everybody did something that you may not think is a big deal….if just you did it. It is great for higher level thinking and perspective taking and because it has silly pictures, kids LOVE it. This book is great for middle to upper elementary. After reading this book, I have my students make their own book of positive examples of “what if everybody did that?” It’s always a hit!
Book 10: The Recess Queen By Alexis O’Neil
Students having trouble getting along at recess? Need to address issues with bullying or unkind behavior? This book discusses bullying/unkind behaviors during recess and how to handle it. After reading this book, I like to talk to the students about the difference between being a friend to someone, and getting along with someone. We don’t have to be friends with everyone, but we do need to get along. I think that young children in particular struggle to understand this concept and so when they don’t like someone, they can say something or do something unkind to them, because they don’t know what the “in between” behaviors are of simply getting along. To support this idea, you can have students brainstorm a list of things they may say/do with a friend, vs. someone they just need to get along with.
Need some explicit teaching materials to help you teach a wide variety of friendship behaviors? This Friendship Behaviors Bundle may be just the thing. Check it out here.
Thanks and Happy Teaching!