Book Companions with Social Emotional Learning Activities and SEL Activities




Take the guesswork out of your SEL instruction with this set of 40+ SEL book companions – at only 15 minutes per lesson, these structured social emotional learning activities based on popular children’s books will realistically fit into your busy day!



⇨ Each weekly unit focuses on ONE SEL ‘goal’ so your students have time to digest and understand the message.

⇨ Each weekly focus is based upon one mentor text that is read on Monday, giving students a frame of reference and schema about the SEL focus of the week in a kid-friendly and relatable way.

⇨ Each daily SEL lesson is designed to take only 15 minutes of class time, making it manageable for the busy classroom teacher.




⇨ Monday: Students will listen to the read-aloud (you, if you own the book -OR- find a YouTube reading!). Question and discussion prompts included.

⇨ Tuesday: Students will engage with you in a SEL-focused classroom meeting where you will remind students of the focus, and begin to generalize the story so it can apply to your focus. Students will draw and/or write their understanding of the focus of the week in their journals.

 Wednesday: Students will view a video clip. Then, another community-building classroom meeting will be held to talk about how the video clip relates to the SEL focus of the week.

⇨ Thursday: Students will engage in an activity to reinforce the focus of the week. Download the preview for a look at this week’s activity!

⇨ Friday: Students will draw and/or write about their new learning by completing prompts in their journal. Then, students will take their journals home and share the ‘Home Connection’ with their families.

*Detailed SEL lesson plans are provided for each day!




“I don’t know where to begin… This has been an invaluable resource for me as I rebuild classroom community mid-year. I have purchased most of the books now because I want my kids to be able to have their hands on them regularly and not just while I have them checked out from the library the week we’re covering it. My third graders are applying these character lessons and are taking them to heart. My only regret is not purchasing it sooner!” -Cassandra

“This has been so helpful in my class so far this year. My students enjoy the lessons built around the books and has been a great way to enhance our classroom climate. Thank you for such a wonderful product. I am looking forward to using the rest of the lessons as the year goes on!” -Siobahn

“I honestly can’t say enough praise about this resource. It has changed the climate of my classroom!!!” -Sarah



Week 1: What if Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

Focus: We can respect each other and our classroom.


Week 2: Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy

Focus: I can have the courage to just be me!


Week 3: Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker by Christianne Jones

Focus: We are effective listeners.


Week 4: Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal by Jeanie Franz Ransom

Focus: We only report things that are a big deal.


Week 5: Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook

Focus: We can respect the personal space of others.


Week 6: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Focus: We can give genuine apologies.


Week 7: Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein

Focus: Understanding that our actions can impact other people.


Week 8: Don’t Push the Button! by Bill Cotter

Focus: We understand why it is important to follow directions.


Week 9: Bit It’s Not My Fault! by Julia Cook

Focus: We can take responsibility for our own actions.


Week 10: The BugyBops: Friends for All Time by Amy Recob

Focus: We know how to keep our friends safe. (food allergy awareness)


Week 11: We’re All Wonders by RJ Palacio

Focus: We choose kindness.


Week 12: My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook

Focus: We can wait to talk until it is our turn.


Week 13: The Way I Act by Steve Metzger

Focus: Our actions show others who we are.


Week 14: Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

Focus: We can share with our friends.


Week 15: You Get What You Get by Julie Glassman

Focus: We are grateful for what we are given.


Week 16: Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker

Focus: We can handle our bad days like superheroes (coping strategies).


Week 17: The Worst Day of My Life Ever by Julia Cook

Focus: I can not only hear, but I also listen carefully.


Week 18: Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Focus: We all have special talents.


Week 19: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Focus: We are flexible thinkers.


Week 20: I Just Want to Do It My Way by Julia Cook

Focus: We can ask for help when we need it.


Week 21: Say Please, Louise by Phil Roxbee Cox

Focus: We have manners.


Week 22: Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice by Julia Cook

Focus: We know the best voice level for every situation.


Week 23: Waiting Isn’t Easy by Mo Willems

Focus: We can be patient when waiting for something.


Week 24: Baditude by Julia Cook

Focus: We can have a positive attitude.


Week 25: Up the Creek by Nicholas Oldland

Focus: We can disagree politely.


Week 26: The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Focus: We know how to start a conversation with someone else.


Week 27: The Technology Tail by Julia Cook

Focus: We are digital citizens.


Week 28: Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey

Focus: We have good sportsmanship.


Week 29: The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

Focus: We can be independent problem solvers.


Week 30: Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkely Breathed

Focus: We tell the truth, even if it’s hard to do.


Week 31: Perfect Square by Michael Hall

Focus: We aren’t perfect, and that’s okay!


Week 32: Hattie and Hudson by Chris Van Dusen

Focus: We are upstanders.


Week 33: The Bad Seed by Jory John

Focus: We are all capable of “goodness.”


Week 34: After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat

Focus: We can get back up after we fall.


Week 35: The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett

Focus: We can take chances and risks, even when we are scared.


Week 36: Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer

Focus: We can have friends that are different than we are.


Week 37: Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt

Focus: We can serve the truth with more sugar.


Week 38: Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Focus: We have perseverance.


Week 39: There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi

Focus: We can overcome our fears.


Week 40: We’re Growing by Laurie Keller

Focus: We are ALL special.


BONUS: I’m Not Scared… I’m Prepared by Julia Cook

Focus: We are always prepared.


BONUS: Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne and Max Lang

Focus: We celebrate all kinds of families.


SEASONAL BONUS: The Good, the Bad and the Spooky by Jory John

Focus: We understand the difference between a BIG DEAL and LITTLE DEAL.


Copyright © Cupcakes & Curriculum

Permission to copy for single classroom use only.

Please purchase additional licenses if you intend to share this product.



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