10 of the most popular children’s books about friendship plus 5 videos for the classroom. Perfect for social-emotional learning lessons and activities.
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 10 children’s books about friendship PLUS 5 videos are perfect for classroom use. Share some to help you introduce concepts such as friendly conversation, sharing, forgiveness, and cooperation.
Children’s Books about Friendship PLUS Videos for the Classroom
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.
Children’s Books about Friendship
Each of these books provides a valuable lesson on friendship. Let children learn by example with delightful story lines and illustrations.
1. My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook – Louis has a hard time holding his thoughts in, and can sometimes seem 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 a popular one in classrooms everywhere. This beautifully illustrated book teaches children about how sharing is an important way to build 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 own rainbow fish after reading the story. Click here to check it out.
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 tons of examples of how to be a good friend. This entertaining book gives children a great 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 in order 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 5 ways that they will use to make friends at school or in the community. Click here to check it out.
6. Duck and Goose by Tad Hills – Learning to share and work together are difficult 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 who is down in the dumps? Children will relate with Piggie as he tries to figure out just what might make his friend Elephant happy.
After reading these great examples of friendship, kids will enjoy creating a friendship hat with a few different ways that they can be a friend to others. Click here to check it out.
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 positive relationships with peers.
1. What Makes a Good Friend by Rocking Dan Teaching Man
This delightful diddy is one that the kids will sing in 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 all about how to be a friend in this 15-minute video.
After discussing ways to be a friend, children will have a grasp of good and bad ways to be a friend. To reinforce this learning, give them examples of each to sort in a pocket chart. Click here to check it out.
3. Getting Along with Others by The Wiggle Tales
A sad little rabbit realizes that his unfriendly behavior is the reason 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 an amazing 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 own classroom!
Encourage children to make a 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. Click here to check it out.
Friendship Classroom Resources
The relationships & friendship unit includes tons of helpful lessons and activities to help children learn to communicate effectively and listen, be a good friend, and learn ways to make friends. Click here to see everything included.
FREE “Ways to Be a Friend” Storybook
To get you started check out this FREE resource – “Ways to Be a Friend” storybook, which includes a digital and printable mini-book to color.
Download a free copy of storybook for kids to color or read or use the version online in Google Slides. Click the image below to sign-up for your free storybook!
Learn More About Teaching SEL
Friendship Activities for the Classroom
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I am a kids librarian and have a Friendship storytime program planned. This hat would be a great craft. Would you be willing to sell just the hat template as I don’t need the rest of the unit?
Proud to be Primary
The hat is only available as part of the friendship unit.