Do you want your students to treat each other with more kindness in the classroom? I know that is always something I work on with my kids, and doing so has a HUGE impact on the classroom environment. Kindness does not always come naturally to kids, though. That is why I love to use these read-alouds to teach kindness and encourage my students to be kinder to one another in our classroom. These books are a great way to teach students what it looks like to be kind AND why being kind is important. Here are my favorite read-alouds that teach kindness, along with links to video readings of each one and some fun activities to go with them.
Read-Alouds to Teach Kindness
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
I LOVE reading this book to my students. It tells a beautiful story and shows the significant damage we can do when we are not kind, to others as well as to ourselves. The books tells about a girl who gets a new classmate, Maya. She is extremely shy and has raggedy clothes, so the other children proceed to treat Maya very unkindly, even though she is kind to them. When the teacher does a lesson on how kindness ripples outwards from, the main character realizes how awful she has been. She wants to make amends. It is too late, however, because Maya has already left the school due to the kids’ unkind behavior. It is a sad, but powerful, story. Click here to watch a video reading of Each Kindness or click here to order your own copy, then use these activities to help your students process the book and its lesson.
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller
Using manners is an important part of being kind to others, and this book is a fun way to teach your students about manners. As you can tell, the title is a parody of the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” In the book, a family of otters moves in next to a rabbit, who worries that they won’t get along. So, the rabbit thinks about how he would want the otters to treat him so he knows how he should treat the otters. It is a funny book that also shows kids what it means to have good manners and treat others with kindness. My students always laugh when we read this one! Click here to watch a video reading of Do Unto Otters or click here to order your own copy. Also, here are some activities to go with the book!
Bucket Filler Books
This is not one specific book, but rather a few different books on the same topic: being a bucket filler. You can be a bucket filler by doing nice things for other people, such as giving a compliment or helping a friend with their homework. Doing these things fills other people’s “buckets” as well as your own. These three books below explain the concept of being a bucket filler and talk about ways kids can be bucket fillers every day. They are great read-alouds to teach kindness and give students lots of specific ideas about how to be kind to others! (For more about teaching your kids to be bucket fillers, see my post Turning Your Students Into Bucket Fillers.)
1. How Full is Your Bucket? for Kids
This book is a great introduction to the concept of being a bucket filler. It tells the story of Felix and his sister Anna, who get in an argument while playing together. Their grandpa then explains to them the concept of being a bucket filler. As Felix goes about his days, he starts noticing when people are being bucket fillers or bucket dippers. In the end, he starts treating his sister, and others, with more kindness. Watch a video reading of the book here or order your own copy here, then try this fun activity to have your students think about how full their bucket is!
2. Bucket Filling A-Z
This is another wonderful book about being a bucket filler. It briefly explains what is means to be a bucket filler, then gives an example for each letter of the alphabet. I love this one because it provides so many ideas about how to be a bucket filler, which is helpful for kids. After reading this book, your students will know lots of ways they can be kind to one another by filling each other’s buckets. Watch a video reading of the book here and have students come up with their own bucket filling idea with this printable!
3. Have You Filled A Bucket Today?
This book provides an awesome explanation about what it means to be a bucket filler or a bucket dipper. It Have You Filled a Bucket Today activity also explains what happens when we fill someone’s bucket or when we dip someone’s bucket. In addition, it gives LOTS of different ideas about how to be bucket fillers, both at school and at home. I love how this book goes into detail about the concept of being a bucket filler (but in a simple way that kids will understand). It also explains why it is so important to be a bucket filler every day. This is definitely a great book to teach about the importance of kindness and HOW to be kind in our daily lives. Watch a video read-aloud of the book here or order you own copy here. You can also use this printable to help kids think how they have filled someone’s bucket or how someone has filled their bucket!
I hope you can use some of these read-alouds to teach kindness in your classroom! Being kind is such an important skill to teach our students. Not only does it improve the classroom environment, but it also improves the lives of our students and those around them. Enjoy using these read-alouds to teach kindness to your kids!
Do you use any other read-alouds to teach kindness to your students? If so, please leave a comment below or send me an email!
Looking for other read alouds to use in your classroom? Check out these 28 Fabulous Chapter Books to Read Aloud or these Read-Alouds for Calling Out!