Children’s Books About Self-Management

You know the importance of including Social Emotional Learning strategies into the classroom, but you find it challenging to implement new and exciting lessons into your plans. Does this sound like you? I’ve been there, too! 

Whether it’s teaching about taking responsibility, coping with emotions, flexible thinking or remembering to get up when we fall, these Social Emotional Learning techniques will help your students identify their feelings and be able to better communicate with others.   

Below are some of my favorite Character Education lessons with correlating children’s books about self-management that are the perfect resources to include in your daily schedule! 

Told from Louis’ perspective, My Mouth is a Volcano is about a little boy named Louis who has thoughts that are all very important to him. The problem is, he says all of his thoughts out loud, interrupting is friends, teacher and family!

Through the book, Louis learns how to keep his thoughts inside, and wait until the time is right to share them out loud.

Our students are just like Louis – and developmentally, they have a hard time understanding that what THEY have to say is just as important as what someone else has to say.

My Mouth is a Volcano gives your students a thought process to model whenever they feel their “volcano is going to burst,” hopefully lessening the frequency of interruptions during lessons.

A book about Noodle, But It’s Not My Fault, is the story of a little boy who likes to place blame for his choices onto anyone around him. This is a common behavior of young children – they fear a negative reaction or a punishment and don’t understand that they are completely in charge of their choices and actions, no matter what those around them are doing (or not doing).

Through this book, we can show students that they ultimately choose how they react to any given situation and that taking responsibility for the things they do can help them be better problem solvers, better students, and better friends!

Even Superheroes Have Bad Days – a story about a unique group of superheroes who experience emotions that our students experience: sadness, anger, frustration, loneliness and fear.

The superheroes have a choice to either handle their bad day by doing not-so-nice things like throwing cars, OR they could choose a positive response like getting some exercise.

Through this story, we can teach our students coping mechanisms that will help them deal with their intense emotions in productive ways that don’t negatively impact the people around them.

A humorous book about RJ and his very bad day, The Worst Day of My Life Ever! tells the story of his very rough day, when nothing goes right. It began with gum in his hair, then he missed the school bus, was yelled at for running, sent to the principal’s office for wearing a hat… and the list goes on.

What RJ realizes, with a little help from his mom, is that had he listened carefully to directions… all of those things that made his day simply terrible may not have happened in the first place!

Through this book, we can teach our students that HEARING and LISTENING are two different things

A charming picture book, The Most Magnificent Thing is about an unnamed little girl with an amazing idea. She decides she will make the most MAGNIFICENT thing. She has an idea in her head of just how it will look- all she needs to do is make it.

The problem is, when she goes to make it… this MAGNIFICENT thing isn’t turning out how she expected it to.

The little girl gets so mad that she quits. After her dog convinces her to go on a walk, she is able to come back to her magnificent thing and decides to try again — she is able to get it JUST RIGHT!

Through this story, we can teach our students that it is okay to be frustrated that things don’t turn out exactly how you want them, because being flexible thinkers means you can come up with the answer as long as you never give up!

Say Please, Louise! is the story about a little girl named Louise who always gets what she wants, but she has no manners at all.

One day, Louise goes shopping for a new pet and suffers some very funny consequences as a result of forgetting to say please.

Through this story, we can teach our students that a simple please and thank you can go a long way, and that manners are important!

In Waiting Is Not Easy!, Piggie has a big surprise for Gerald, and Gerald is SO excited to find out what it is!

Gerald does not enjoy how much time he has to spend waiting to find out what the big surprise is, just like our students don’t like to wait. After all, the definition of patience is “delaying gratification.”

Through this fun story with a few favorite book characters, we can open the dialogue with our students about the meaning and importance of being patient.

After the Fall is the next chapter in Humpty Dumpty’s life… after he fell off that wall, he became extremely scared of heights! His fear began to really hold him back from doing a lot of his favorite things.

One day, he had a choice… he decided that instead of backing down to his fear, he was going to conquer it! One step at a time, Humpty climbed back up that wall and he realized it wasn’t so scary anymore.

Through this story, we can show our students that accidents happen, and our fears do not have to hold us back if we work to conquer them one step at a time!

All of these SEL resources, accompanied with the children’s books about self-management, will encourage your students to apply the learned character traits daily! You can find these lessons and more Social Emotional Learning strategies HERE

*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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