This is one of my favorite books to show the importance of diversity. The little girl in the story suddenly finds herself covered in multicolored stripes and in need of a confidence boost. This is a great book to teach students to embrace who they are and love who they are. A couple of activities to follow up with this book could be to complete a study on character traits, or on cause and effect.
Grade Level: 1-5th
Lexile Measure: AD610L
Another wonderful beginning of the year book to read to students about bullying. Pete joins a new school and is highly guarded. Pete wants to bully others before they bully him, but soon learns that his poor decisions won't be tolerated in this classroom. He learns not to be a bystander and to join the class in standing up for one another. Some great activities for this book could be to have the class agree to The Promise and post it in the classroom, discuss the difference between tattling and reporting, brainstorm ways to prevent bullying, and you could even post a picture of an important figure in your student's lives in the classroom and tell them that they could tattle to that picture.
Grade Level: 2-5th
Flesch reading ease score: 97.5
This adorably illustrated book brings a wonderful real-life example of what it means to share. It is about an elephant who debates whether or not he should share his ice cream with his best friend, Piggy. In the end, he waits so long that his ice cream melts, but Piggy shows up with a sweet surprise to cheer him up. I love that this book also shows the value of friendship and how to share at a level that kids can relate to. Some great activities for this book could be to have students write a narrative about friends sharing, or have students make an ice cream cone and write what they value about a friend, and then share that cone. This book would also be good to jump into adjectives with.
Grade Level: K-2
Lexile Measure: 260L
This colorful book takes a spin on ways to give children confidence. Bobbette, the school bully picks on everyone, especially, Winston. One classmate learns the reasoning behind Bobbette's mean behaviors and receives advice from her mom to chew a bully bean and confront this bully. In a twist of events, Bobbette befriends her classmates and they all learn to get along. This book would be great to use at the beginning of the year to help with anti-bullying education. Some great activities for this book would be to make a class poster and write ways to deal with bullies, allow students to take "bully beans" (jelly beans) and for every bean they get, they will have to come up with a way to deal with bullies.
Grade Level: Pre-K-5th
ATOS reading level: 3.6