Children learn social behaviour through a variety of methods. One of these ways is reading literature and using the characters as examples of how to behave in similar situations. Select children's literature to read with your child that models good friendship behaviour, such as sharing or helping a friend in need.
"All Kinds of Friends, Even Green"
"All Kinds of Friends, Even Green" by Ellen B. Senisi highlights the story of a young boy and his special lizard friend. The book uses photographs to show diverse children interacting with one another. The main character in the story, Moses, is in a wheelchair, and the book delicately teaches children about disabilities and how to interact with children who might be different. This book is appropriate for younger elementary and preschool children.
The children's book "I'm Sorry" by Sam McBratney teaches children how to apologise to their friends. This is an important aspect to any friendship because children will inevitably do something to hurt their friend, even if unintentional. The story shows the argument between two preschoolers and then demonstrates how to make amends. Because of the young age of the characters, this book is most appropriate for children under the age of six.
'When I Care About Others"
This story introduces children to the concept of empathy and how to help out friends in need. These ideas are important aspects of friendship and ones that are difficult to explain to children. "When I Care About Others" by Cornelia Maude Spelman shows readers specific examples of how to help friends, such as comforting them during a scary thunderstorm. The text is very simple, so this book is most appropriate for preschool or early elementary readers.
"Friendship According to Humphrey"
"Friendship According to Humphrey" by Betty G. Birney is a chapter book written from the perspective of a hamster. The lighthearted story teaches children how to help people become friends. Humphrey solves problems between two friends fighting as well as helps someone who is being bullied. The book models good friend behaviour that the readers can translate into their own lives. This story is appropriate for middle and upper elementary students.
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- "Teaching Children to Read--Putting the Pieces Together, Third Edition"; D. Ray Reutzel et al.; 2000
- "All Kinds of Friends, Even Green!"; Ellen B. Senisi; 2002
- "I'm Sorry"; Sam McBratney et al.; 2006
- "When I Care about Others"' Cornelia Maude Spelman et al.; 2002
- "Friendship According to Humphrey" Betty G. Birney; 2006