Here is a list of classroom community books that are great for classroom team building activities. They set the stage for great discussions about:
Roxaboxen by Alice McIerran
This is a lovely story about the magic of imagination. Children create an imaginary town, making up rules as they go along. The memories of Roxaboxen stay with the children into adulthood. I use this at the beginning of the year and students are quick to recognize that our classroom is much like Roxaboxen in that we use our imaginations and personal characteristics to make our classroom a creative home that will be cherished in our memories for a very long time.
Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
There are so many reasons to use this book as a teaching tool. It teaches lessons about bullying, acceptance of others, inclusion in the classroom and getting along at school. I have used it as a lesson when I had 1/3 of my class with diagnosed speech issues. The book teaches that having a speech impediment is no reason to hide inside your coat!
Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise
While this is a very predictable tale about a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, it does teach students about true friendship. The colorful illustrations are engaging to students. Great for classroom team building activities!
The Dot by Peter Reynolds
This favorite story teaches students to encourage each other so they have the confidence to try something new. The story can also teach that there are usually many ways to solve a problem. The main character finds many ways to create a dot. With each new way, her confidence builds until she gives the gift of encouragement to another student.
Big Al by Andrew Clements
Another terrific tale about accepting others for whom they are and not judging by appearances. Children love the big ugly fish and are easily able to tie the tale to real life.
Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
This emotional tale is about a homeless boy and his father who live in an airport. Having taught in a low income school, this story teaches children that you never know where someone is coming from, so it is best to just open your heart, encourage and accept others. This title is a great addition to your collection of classroom community books, and also great for classroom team building activities.
Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig
This is a book about a bully who teases other kids but always uses the excuse, "I was just kidding." One boy learns how to deal with the bully's teasing. The end of the book is pretty cool for kids because it recognizes that there is good teasing and bad teasing. The end includes a list of "Teasing Do's and Don'ts" for kids.
Libby - Carlsbad, NM: I seem to end up reading this book every year within the first month of school! Teasing has usually been a problem with my 6th graders, especially boy/girl stuff...teasing to get attention but they tend to go too far.
A Rainbow of Friends by P.K. Hallinan
This book brings to light the uniqueness in all of us. This book teaches that people are all different. But no matter the differences (culture, race, handicap, etc.), you can be friends with anyone!
Mona - Wisconsin: This is a book to buy for the adorable pictures and the message. The text isn't the most lyrical or engaging, but it does get the message across about inclusion in the classroom.
TIP: For lists of childrens books that help teach values and support character education lessons, please click here: Character Education Books.
Do you read a classroom community book to your kids that helps them connect with each other or teaches great lessons in tolerance or acceptance? How about great choices for classroom team building activities? Use my contact form to get it placed on this page to share with your fellow teachers.
NOTE: Include the author's name, and please let me know how or where you use it.
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