Sunday, July 12, 2015

Must Read Monday: Books about Compassion


Yay, time for another Must Read Monday with Suzanne from Kindergarten Planet and Alex from Kindergarten Connection! I love talking about books! 



This week it is all about COMPASSION. I really love this topic, and it is SO important to teach to little learners. Children are naturally all about themselves, and some have not had to ever deal with other kids before coming to school. They are living in a world with many people unlike themselves, and having compassion is a must. Here are some of my favorite books to teach compassion. 

Those Shoes is a great book for showing that material possessions aren't always the most important thing. Jeremy is pining after "those shoes" that everyone seems to have, but his family can't afford. When he gets teased for having dorky shoes, there is one kid who doesn't make fun of them. When Jeremy finally gets "those shoes," he sees that they aren't all they are cracked up to be. He does a great deed for his friend at the end, and sees how thinking of other people feels pretty darn good. 


Another one I love is Each Kindness. This one is emotionally heavy, and I always have some very silent, very introspective kids as we finish this one. Maya is the new girl at school, and she is poor. Everyone in the class is mean to her because of how she looks and dresses, even though she is always kind to them. One day she transfers and no one sees her again. When the class is talking about the acts of kindness they have done, Chloe can't think of any- but she keeps thinking of how she was always mean to Maya.

This story always catches my students off-guard because it doesn't wrap up in a nice little package. Maya never comes back, Chloe never has the chance to apologize. It really gets the point across that those mean words can stick with people, and that if you are always mean to people, you are going to be facing some major guilt one day.


I love Leo the Late Bloomer! Leo is just that- a late bloomer. He's not yet doing all the things his friends can do, and his dad is worried. In his own time, he blooms! I use this one when we talk about our "just right learning." I always have the "smart kid" who came in ahead of everyone, and has been told by their family how *smart* they are. I always see a few kids glancing between  their A book and their friend reading a K...or looking at their writing and comparing it to the kid who had 2 years of Head Start. I want my kids to know it's okay for us to be at different stages, and that we will all bloom in our own time.



I'll admit, I originally judged Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! by it's cover...and I'm glad I did! Not only does it have great illustrations, it is a short read with a great message. Tyrannosaurus doesn't really know how to play with others- he pretty much wrecks everything around him, hurting his friends' feelings. Around the middle you start to see that Tyrannosaurus isn't merely a bully, but he really just struggles to work with other people and express himself. Instead of holding it against him and staying mad, his friends help him be successful.

I LOVED this one because as I read it the first time, I thought of a buddy I had a few years back. This student had many problems interacting with the others, and did things very impulsively. They weren't trying to be a bully, but if the other kids did the same things back to them, it would be bullying. It is hard to 5 year olds to really understand that their classmate's needs were different than their own, but this story was a start!

What are some of your favorite books for teaching compassion? I'd love to hear about them!

12 comments:

  1. I LOVE all of your choices! You picked so many of my favorites!! Leo and Those Shoes are so wonderful for teaching compassion, great choices! I have not heard of the other books you showcased, but they sound amazing!! I love the one that doesn't wrap up in a neat package, what a great discussion starter! And I too had a little friend just like Tyrannosauras Wrecks, this would have been perfect for us!! Thank you so much for sharing such awesome book choices, I definitely have some to add to my Wish List!!
    Thanks so much for sharing your books, and I hope you have a wonderful week!!

    Erin
    Kindergarten Dragons

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    1. These Must Read Mondays are quickly filling up my amazon cart! It is so amazing to see 5 year olds having thoughtful discussion about books... makes me so happy!

      Thanks for reading!
      Deirdre

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  2. I think every kinder class has a Tyrannosaurus somewhere along the way. I really appreciate your insightful thoughts about when the behavior turns from impulsivity to bullying. I'm excited to find this book!

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    1. Oh, we've all had a tyrannosaurus! It is a cute way to get a discussion going!

      Thanks for reading!
      Deirdre

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  3. I had forgotten about Leo the Late Bloomer. I'm getting quite a long shopping list now. :) Thanks for sharing.
    Rachael

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    1. Leo is so great! It actually helped ME when I was worrying about one of my little guys- reminded me that he will be just fine, he just needs some time!

      Thanks for reading!
      Deirdre

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  4. Hi! OK. Your first two write-ups brought tears to my eyes. I don't know those books, but I must find them and read them. I'm so glad you shared all of these stories!

    Suzanne
    Kindergarten Planet

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    1. They are really great! And even though they are deep, the kid really get it! Definitely check them out! Thanks so much for hosting!

      Deirdre

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  5. Wow, some really good books! I am going to have to go shopping for some new books soon and will have to add some of these to my list. Thanks for sharing! Kristi Teaching Little Miracles

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    1. Thanks for reading! They are great, check them out for sure!

      Deirdre

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  6. I was definitely getting teary eyed reading some of those descriptions, particularly "Each Kindness" - oh my goodness I don't know if I could read that one out loud without crying! It sounds wonderfully written to convey such emotion. I love Leo the Late Bloomer! I also must try out Tyrannosaurus Wrecks - I haven't heard of that one!

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    1. Leo is one of my favorites! Each Kindness is a hard one to get through, but so worth it! Thanks for hosting!

      Deirdre

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