10 of the most popular children’s books about friendship, plus five videos for the classroom. Perfect for social-emotional learning lessons and activities.
Children’s Books & Videos about Friendship
Building positive relationships and practicing social etiquette can be a challenge for children. To foster these social-emotional skills in your students, give them examples and plenty of opportunities to practice.
These ten children’s books about friendship plus five videos are perfect for classroom use. Share some to help you introduce concepts such as friendly conversation, sharing, forgiveness, and cooperation.
Children need to see things in action and learn through practice. This applies to the social skills necessary for making and keeping friends. Such skills are positive social interactions, effective communication, and handling disappointing actions from their peers.
The following friendship books and videos provide examples of being a good friend. Show your students what friendship looks and sounds like while strengthening your lessons and discussions.
Table of Contents
- Children’s Books & Videos about Friendship
- Friendship Picture Books with Lesson Ideas
- 1. My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook
- 2. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- 3. How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them by Marc Brown
- 4. How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson
- 5. Peanut Butter and Cupcake by Terry Border
- 6. Duck and Goose by Tad Hills
- 7. Toot and Puddle: You are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie
- 8. Friends by Rob Lewis
- 9. You are Friendly by Snow and Strong
- 10. My Friend is Sad (An Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems
- Videos that Compliment the above Children’s Books about Friendship
- Friendship Classroom Resources
- Learn More About Teaching SEL
Friendship Picture Books with Lesson Ideas
Each of these books provides a valuable lesson on friendship. Let children learn by example with delightful storylines and illustrations.
1. My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook
Louis has difficulty holding his thoughts in and sometimes seems rude and disrespectful. In this story, he learns to wait his turn to speak and be respectful and courteous to others.
2. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
This bestselling children’s book is popular in classrooms everywhere. This beautifully illustrated book teaches children how sharing is crucial to building friendships.
Kids can write about their experiences with sharing and how it makes them feel using the Rainbow Fish writing craftivity. They will enjoy coloring their rainbow fish after reading the story.
3. How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them by Marc Brown
This little book is a wealth of information with many examples of being a good friend. This entertaining book gives children an excellent overview of how to make and keep friends.
4. How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson
This hilariously entertaining book shows children how NOT to act to be accepted socially.
5. Peanut Butter and Cupcake by Terry Border
How does a lonely peanut butter-smeared piece of bread make friends when everyone else (other child-friendly food characters) around him seems happy and preoccupied? Children must read to find out!
Brainstorm ways to make a friend after reading this relatable story. Students can pick and write five ways that they will use to make friends at school or in the community.
6. Duck and Goose by Tad Hills
Learning to share and work together are challenging tasks for two adorable little characters. In the end, their efforts are rewarded with a strong friendship.
7. Toot and Puddle: You are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie
When one friend is sad, what’s another to do? Cheer him up, of course! In this book, children see how friendships can improve a gloomy day.
8. Friends by Rob Lewis
Friendships are sometimes about learning to be flexible and accept others, even if you have nothing in common at first. As the story ends, those friendships turn out to be wonderful!
9. You are Friendly by Snow and Strong
Sometimes, explicit teaching is necessary, and this book does it for you. Empower kids to be friendly with others with this instructional book.
10. My Friend is Sad (An Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems
How can a Piggie show compassion and heartfelt concern for his friend down in the dumps? Children will relate with Piggie as he tries to figure out what might make his friend Elephant happy.
After reading these great examples of friendship, kids will enjoy creating a friendship hat in a few ways to be friends with others.
Videos that Compliment the above Children’s Books about Friendship
Your class will love these videos. Each teaches valuable lessons about being a good friend and building positive peer relationships.
1. What Makes a Good Friend by Rocking Dan Teaching Man
This delightful diddy is one that the kids will sing on the car ride home and explains what things good friends do.
2. Let’s Be Friends by Sesame Street
An adorable and fun montage of skits by these puppet friends – kids will learn how to be a friend in this 15-minute video.
After discussing ways to be a friend, children will grasp good and bad ways to be a friend. To reinforce this learning, give them examples of each to sort in a pocket chart.
3. Getting Along with Others by The Wiggle Tales
A sad little rabbit realizes his unfriendly behavior is why he isn’t invited to a party.
4. Small Talk: Friendship by CBC Kids
This is a short video that explains friendship in children’s words. It shows excerpts of a positive and encouraging dialogue between the interviewer and several children.
5. Friendship Soup Recipe by NED Tube
What does it take to create a fantastic friendship …soup? Find out what ingredients are required, and hear as children describe what qualities make up a good friendship. Recreate this activity in your classroom!
Encourage children to vow to “be a friend” and share how they will do so in the classroom. They can write an idea on a heart and post their heart amongst the classes’ hearts on a bulletin board.
Friendship Classroom Resources
Free Ways to Be a Friend Storybook
Get started promoting friendship skills in the classroom with this FREE Ways to be a Friend Storybook resource!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
Friendship Lessons and Activities
Try the Social-Emotional Learning K-2 Relationships Lessons and Activities by Proud to be Primary. It includes five weeks of friendship lessons and activities. Give your students a leg up when it comes to creating friendships and forming healthy relationships in the classroom.
Teach upper elementary? I’ve got some great friendship skills lessons and resources for you.
If you like this resource, you’ll love the relationships combo pack! It includes not only the above lessons and activities but also includes digital resources. This combo pack is available for grades K-2 and 3-5.
Learn More About Teaching SEL
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