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Children’s Books About Responsible Decision Making

Making responsible decisions doesn’t always come easily, especially for our young students! From respect and honesty to problem solving and following directions, these Social Emotional Learning lessons are accompanied with children’s books about responsible decision making, and are a must have for your character education curriculum.  

Check out some of my favorite lessons from the Readers With Character program that will guide your students in developing and practicing the learned social skills. 

Dropping one soda out the window isn’t a big deal… or is it? What if EVERYBODY dropped a soda out the window? What would happen if EVERYBODY broke the rules? Centered around respect, What if Everybody Did That? teaches students that following rules and considering their environment is important for everyone!  

A highly entertaining story, Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal is ‘a tale of tattletales’ teaching young students when “squealing” is appropriate or simply tattling.

At this age, students are just starting to develop the ability to solve their own problems, and sometimes it is difficult for them to figure out if something needs to be addressed with an adult, or if it is something that can be handled themselves.

Teaching students how to figure out whether a situation is a REPORT or a TATTLE is the main goal of this book, but they will love the fun illustrations, characters and humor in this story, too!

On the surface, Don’t Push the Button! is a simple and fun story for kids because they can really interact with the character.

Our hidden agenda as teachers is to generalize this story and help our students understand WHY we should be following directions.

Our students don’t realize that we give specific directions for very specific reasons (safety, time management, productivity, etc.).

During this lesson, students will be made aware that directions are given for a reason, that there are consequences (positive and negative) when you choose what to do after a direction, and what their thought process should be when they are given directions.

Decibella is the story about a spunky little girl named Isabella. She earned the nickname Decibella because she loves to just shout her ideas and thoughts in her loud voice.

Isabella learns that being loud isn’t always appropriate – there are actually five volumes of voice: Whisper, 6-Inch Voice, Table Talk, Strong Speaker, and Outside.

By the end of the story, Decibella understands those 5 volumes and when the right times are to use them.

Through this story, we can teach our students appropriate voice levels for different activities, places and times. 

A twist on the common issue of bullying, The Recess Queen is about a little girl named Jean – everyone called her Mean Jean because she was a recess bully.

One day, a new girl comes to school and crosses the path of Mean Jean at recess. Instead of taking the problem to an adult, the new girl decides to solve the problem on her own by befriending Mean Jean on the playground. With a new friend by her side, Mean Jean wasn’t so mean anymore!

Through this story, we can teach our students to reflect and think about how they could solve problems on their own!

A story about a boy that likes to tell fibs, Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big teaches students that fibbing is being dishonest. 

One day, he tells a fib and there are some serious consequences that he did not expect. Edwurd starts to see that his words caused some bad things to happen, and that he should have just told the truth!

Through this story, our students will learn that even if we don’t think our fib is a big deal, our words could end up hurting people!

Being Frank – the story about a boy named Frank, who is indeed very frank. About EVERYTHING. He believes that honesty is the best policy, and that he should never lie.

Even though this is true, Frank still finds that he is hurting other people’s feelings. He doesn’t understand why, because he is just being honest.

Frank gets some great advice from his equally frank Grandpa who shows him how to serve up honesty, with just a little more sugar.

Through this story, we can teach our students how to be honest without hurting other people’s feelings.

All of these children’s books about responsible decision making will offer teaching opportunities alongside some fun for your students, as they focus on the concept of the decision-making process.   

Ready to add these Social Emotional Learning resources into your lesson plans? Be sure to head HERE to check them out along with several other must-have SEL resources! 

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to qualifying purchases. I may receive a small commission if purchases are made – at no cost to you. 

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