THE ROUGH PATCH
by Brian Lies
If a child has experienced loss, The Rough Patch is a good way to provide an opportunity for them to talk about it. Loss may be losing a dog, having a best friend move away, a divorce or undergoing medical trauma. This book helps children understand that “rough patches” are common to everyone. The story explores the emotions that may be experienced during a rough time and helps children realize that they can be proactive and do something to help themselves move to a happier more contented place.
SEEDS AND TREES
by Brandon Walden
We have all heard the old adage, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” This is a beautifully illustrated book that helps children learn the power of words to inflict harm or to bring joy and happiness. Helping children learn to speak encouraging and positive words to one another is a key life skill that we much teach them through modeling and encouragement.
THE HUGE BAG OF WORRIES
by Virginia Ironside
Children come to school every day with many things on their mind that create worry and anxiety. For the child who lives in a domestic violence situation, he may worry about his mom’s safety. For the child who has a critically ill parent at home, she may worry that her dad may die while she is gone. The child who lives in poverty may wonder if there will be dinner tonight and the child who lives with drug addicted parents may wonder if anyone is even going to be home.
The worries that children carry can high jack their thinking and emotional energies needed for success in school. One of the things that teachers can do is help children identify and verbalize their worries. We know that the simple act of speaking that which is troubling to us can reduce the levels of anxiety in our body. This also give children the opportunity to develop empathy and understand what it means to “bear one another’s burdens.” This book is a way to begin that conversation and start a ritual in your classroom that gives children a strategy for releasing their anxiety.
THE IMPORTANT BOOK
by Margaret Wise Brown
In the heart of every child is a desire and need for significance. Children need to know that they matter to those with whom they live and go to school. An important truth that we can share with children is the fact that they are uniquely made, and each has gifts and talents to contribute to the life of school and community. Each and every one is important. This book is a way to begin helping children think about what is important about themselves.
THE THANKFUL BOOK
by Todd Parr
In recent years there has been a great deal of research and interest in the power of gratitude to change the brain and enhance mental health. It is clear that fostering an attitude of gratitude leads to a greater degree of happiness and optimism. Childhood is the perfect time to begin fostering a thankfulness approach to life. This book highlights the importance of a grateful spirit.