Knowledge

10 must read storybooks for guiding students’ social and emotional development

Vinay Singh
10 must read storybooks for guiding students’ social and emotional development

The benefits of reading story books go far beyond entertainment & education: new research highlights the power of stories in helping children handle their feelings, character building, comprehension of diversity, the concept of equality and other life skills.

As teachers, we must support children & youngsters with right guidance as their social and emotional skills are developing all the time. Reading and storytelling also help promote language skills development, critical thinking, and creative development.

There are so many wonderful books out there on this, however, keeping in mind, space and time constraint of modern readers and educators, we have collated this list of 10 must-read books for educators:

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Age 10+

This book is translated into English from French. Throughout his book, Saint-Exupéry emphasizes the importance of looking beneath the surface to find true beauty in even common things.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Age 14+

This books strikingly illustrates how easy it is for men to devolve back to their feral instincts. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is a superb narrative of today's nations, wars of conquest, and a grim reminder of the modern mindset of nothing matters as long as your side wins. This book makes the readers contemplate the complex relationships among society, morality, and human nature.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Age 12+

With lovely prose and an unforgettable heroine, Anne of Green Gables is an endearing book brimming with optimism & freshness. It is full of life, love, innocence, beauty, finding yourself, forgiveness, growing up, and it is tremendously funny!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Age 12+

This book shows that we shouldn't judge people by how they look or what they like. Even though the theme is very cliche, it has an important meaning. Many of the people at August's middle school immediately judged him because of his facial deformity and would not even get near him. This book is a must-read even for adults because it illustrates the power of empathy, compassion, and love.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Age 8+

Charlotte’s Web follows a pig named Wilbur who is destined for the butcher’s block until his friend Charlotte, a spider, intervenes. Not only does the book offer important lessons on friendship, mortality, and the passing of time, it also teaches empathy. This all-time classic by the creator of Stuart Little continues to be enjoyed by the young and old alike.

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Age 8+

This gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Age 8+

This enchanting, highly enjoyable and engaging classic helps children discover and learn about friendship, peace, and healing. It also teaches about the importance of not being spoiled and lazy. Children will learn about acceptance of disabilities and the power of thoughts.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Age 8+

Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. The Hundred Dresses is a perfect starting point for conversations on being a good friend, understanding differences in people, forgiveness, and bullying,

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

Age 8+

In this classic tale by the master storyteller, two warring groups - Sneetches with and Sneetches without (starbellies) - go through a series of transformations and eventually become friends when they can no longer see the difference between each other.  The perfect book for families and educators to talk about empathy, equity and kindness with young children.

Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall

Age 7+

A blue crayon mistakenly labelled as "red" suffers an identity crisis in this insightful and colourful picture book. This funny, heart-warming, colourful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone.

Fair use disclaimer: All images are used for representational purpose only and are the copyright of their respective owners.

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