By Jordan Gilliard, CEI Intern
Many books for children, educators, and parents highlight the vulnerable emotions that students tackle both inside and outside of the classroom. These books can help children understand their emotions and build greater awareness of themselves and others. Here is a sampler of a few books that are highly recommended by others.
From Children to Parents to Educators
- Exploring Emotions by Ros Basely & Kay Margetts, a book for parents and educators, focuses on young kids gaining sensitivity for their peer’s emotions and teaching them how to communicate their feelings. This book covers happiness, guilt, jealousy, disappointment, and many more emotions. For each emotion, the authors stress the importance of fully acknowledging that emotion. They also suggest follow-up activities that adults may use to help children better understand the emotion and share their feelings with others. One activity the authors recommend is painting both happy and unhappy faces – children paint both and then explain their art and the differences they have portrayed.
- Fragility is revealed, in Hurty Feelings by Helen Lester, in a young children’s book as a feeling that can sometimes get out of hand. Through the actions of their favorite animals, kids are able to see how important it is to manage their feelings when they have been hurt. In Hurty Feelings, “Fragility” stands up to the neighborhood bully, Rudy the Elephant, and gains the confidence and perspective to “hear sweetness rather than slights in her friends’ remarks” (see review in Reading to Kids).
- In Punch Like a Girl by Karen Krossing, teenagers explore bravery and guilt in this young adult novel. By assigning or suggesting this book, teachers can make sure students are exposed to raw emotions and methods that assist with managing them. The topics of sexual assault and domestic violence help frame the importance of emotional reflection and management through more mature lenses. Punch Like a Girl provides a riveting, suspenseful, and compelling story that helps readers understand the importance of speaking out, being strong, and fighting back.
- In Steps and Stones: An Anh’s Anger Story by Gail Silver, a young elementary school boy feels the pain of losing friends. In this book, the boy’s anger is personified, giving children a chance to see how active and powerful an emotion can be. This book provides helpful coping mechanisms and peaceful ways to handle anger for children as they develop emotional self-control.
Thanks to Marcy Hays for her assistance with this blog post.