Monday, July 13, 2015

Must Read Monday: Books About Teaching Compassion


The theme this week for Must Read Monday is must read books about compassion.  The American Heritage College Dictionary defines compassion as "Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it."  Wow!  That is a heavy topic for kindergarten children.  How on earth do we teach this?  Well, we do this like we do everything else.  We make it relatable.  We break it down so they understand the concept, and children definitely understand treating each kindly (or not) and how it makes them feel.  What better way to communicate this, than by reading children's books.

The Kindergarten Connection and I would love to know what your favorite book(s) about compassion are.  You can link up with us and/or leave us a comment down below!



Big Al by Yoshi is a super sweet story about a big friendly fish named Al.  The other fish are scared of him because he is so big.  Al just wants a friend, and he tries many different things to gain friends, but they are all unsuccessful.  It isn't until fisherman come along and capture the little fish with a net that they see Big Al is friendly.  Big Al saves them, but is captured.  Does Big Al live?  You have to read the book to find out!


A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon is a great story about being true to yourself.  Camila loves lima beans, but her friends don't.  She wants to fit in so she denies herself something she loves and so she breaks out in a bad case of stripes.  The other students make fun of her and she ends up being asked to leave school.  She is visited by several doctors and it is a little old lady who ends up curing her.  This is a story of compassion that makes sure you are faithful to your needs and confident in being yourself - and nobody else!


Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell is a cute story about Molly Lou Melon, a little girl with some differences.  Her grandmother tells her to smile, stand tall, and be yourself and not be afraid of what others say.  This advice comes in handy when she moves to a new school and a bully makes fun of her.  Molly Lou Melon stays true to herself and eventually, the other children start to see her potential, and her gifts.


The Snow Bear by Miriam Moss is a heartwarming story of a bear cub who loses his mommy.  The snow bear decides to make a snow mommy until his mother returns.  Many animals come by and help the snow bear build his mommy out of snow.  Eventually, night falls, the other animals are called home to their moms, and the snow bear cuddles up next to the snowy mom.  It is a sweet reunion when the real snow mom returns to her bear cub!  The hardbound book is also fabulous because it is embossed and the students love feeling the snow bear, as well as the other animals in this tender story.  (I feel like this bit was written by a movie critic with words like heart warming, sweet, and tender! Ha!  But, these words are fitting - read the book and see for yourself)


The Colors of Us by Karen Katz is a great story to read anytime of the year, but I like reading it in February during Black History Month.  A little girl and her mom talk about skin colors and decide that brown is not just brown.  There are many shades of brown - like cinnamon, french toast, peanut butter, peachy, etc.  Each person is unique and has a skin color that is special.  They mix paint and the little girl creates portraits of all of her friends.  There is a lovely story about compassion that values each persons outer beauty and uniqueness.



The Lion Who Wanted to Love by Giles Andreae is one of my favorite books to read.  It also rhymes which adds to the story.  It is the story of Leo, a lion who is a vegetarian and wants to hug animals, rather than eat them.  He is banished from his pride (by his mother) and so Leo sadly leaves, but roams about the area helping other animals and saving them from peril.  All the animals love Leo and would love to find a way to repay his kindness.  One day, a cheetah is caught in a rapid river heading towards a dangerous waterfall.  Leo jumps in to rescue him.  He saves the cheetah but is then caught in the rushing water.  The animals all rush to help him.  Will Leo be saved?  Will he reunite with his mother?  Check out this book to find out - you won't regret it!


Hey Little Ant by Philip and Hannah Hoose is the ultimate story of compassion.  This is in my top 10 favorite books to read of all time!  It is the story of a boy who wants to crush an ant.  All of his friends are telling him to do it.  A conversation ensues between the boy and the ant and each of them state their own case.  The boy states why he should crush the ant.  The ant states why the boy should not crush him.  This rhyming book illustrates the idea that all living creatures matter.  The best part is, the book ends with the boy's raised up shoe and lets you, the reader, decide what he should do.  This leads to a great discussion and you can also have the children write and draw about what should happen next.


The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry is an excellent story to read around Earth Day.  A man is sent into the rainforest to chop down a tree but gets hot and sits down to rest.  During his nap, different animals of the rainforest come up to him and tell him why he should not chop the tree down.  When the man wakes up, he sees the tree, the forest, and all the animals through different eyes.  What happens next?  Does he chop down the tree?  The end of the story will reveal all!


For More Book Recommendations, please check out:




10 comments:

  1. I love all of your recommendations! Several of my favorites are in there!

    I always do Hey, Little Ant in the spring when our room becomes overrun with ants. At first, many of my kids vote to smush em all, and then we read this and do some opinion writing and then no one wants to smash them! We decide to clean better instead :)

    The Colors of Us and The Lion Who Wanted Love are new to me! Ill have to check them out! Thanks for sharing!

    Deirdre
    Mrs. Garcia's Super Scholars!

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    1. Hi Deirdre,

      My class is the same way with Hey, Little Ant! I love to hear the conversations that take place and see how they start to change their minds.

      Suzanne

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  2. You named some of my very favorite stories!! I forgot all about 'The Great Kapok Tree', I LOVE that book so much!! I also so love 'Hey, Little Ant' and 'A Bad Case of Stripes'. The rest of the books you named are new to me, and The Snow Bear and The Lion Who Wanted Love seem like real tear-jerkers to me!! I'm so excited to add them to my Wish List!! Thank you so much for hosting such an awesome linky and for sharing such amazing books!! Have a wonderful week!!

    Erin
    Kindergarten Dragons

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    1. Hi Erin!

      This week contained some really great books and some of my faves! I love your enthusiasm for our book linky and am so glad you are participating!

      Suzanne

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  3. 'Hey Little Ant' is one of my favorite titles to use for writer's workshop. It leads to some of the best conversations in the classroom, too. I was so excited to see 'The Great Kapok Tree' on your list! That's a book that should be in every early childhood class.

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    1. Thanks Tracy!

      I concur with both of your points!!!!! Thanks so much for stopping by :)

      Suzanne

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  4. I love your list of books and will have to add some of them to my shopping list. I have always loved The Bad Case of the Stripes and the kids really seem to enjoy that one as well. Thanks for sharing! My book list is getting pretty long! :-) Kristi Teaching Little Miracles

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    1. Hi Kristi!

      My book list is getting long as well! I am going to have fun shopping for some back to school books at the end of summer!

      Suzanne

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  5. I love Molly Lou Melon! There's a new book with her - Have Fun Molly Lou Melon. :)
    Thank you for a great linky!
    Mrs.B's Classroom Adventures

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    1. Hi! I did not know that there was a new Molly Lou Melon book out. Thanks for sharing that!
      Suzanne

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