Teachers can use these 15 emotions books and videos for the classroom to teach kids emotional skills during social-emotional learning lessons.
Dealing with children’s emotions is a hot topic among teachers in elementary schools today. Teachers need to think about how to teach children to recognize and describe emotions, express them, and control them. Explicit lessons about emotions can help children learn healthy social-emotional skills. Here are 15 books and videos about emotions that you can share with your class.
15 Books and Videos that Teach Emotional Skills to Kids
Children naturally express their emotions, although it’s not always in an appropriate manner. Emotional skills can be learned, and YOU can help your students adopt socially responsible ways of managing emotions. Share some of these books and videos with them today!
Emotional Skills Books
In each of the books listed below, the main characters struggle with defining or showing their emotions. Sometimes a tricky concept for youngsters to grasp, social-emotional learning CAN be successfully promoted in your classroom. Simply let the characters and situations described in these books illustrate what emotions are and how to handle them.
1. Don’t Think About Purple Elephants by Susanne Merritt – In this book about facing your worries, children will see how one little girl copes with her overwhelming feelings of worry and fear.
2. The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken – In this surprisingly creative book, the artist shows children how each mistake in her artwork leads to a brilliant and positive new creation. Children learn that, like art, we are all a work in progress.
3. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena – Jealousy hits a little boy hard in this story, where he wonders why his life and his possessions aren’t as nice as he assumes everyone else’s are. See how he deals with his emotions and learns to be content with the beauty in his own world.
4. The Crayon Box that Talked by Derolf and Letzig – This is a very popular book for explaining the value in diversity and how everything is more beautiful with all the different colors in the crayon box working together. This book teaches children about cooperation and community.
5. Pass it On by Sophie Henn – Spread kindness and cheerful encouragement through your classroom by reading this inspiring book with children. They will pick up on how passing along a joyful feeling to others can make everyone’s day brighter.
Kids benefit from writing and drawing about their feelings in a journal. Click here to download the emotions lesson and journal!
6. The Dot by Peter Reynolds – The main character in this book just can’t get over her feelings of inadequacy. Children reading this book see how she battles her feelings of “I can’t” and ultimately overcomes.
7. Millie Fierce by Jane Manning – The lesson of this book: When you act out for attention, the result is that you don’t get the attention you crave. Children see Millie learn the lesson that being kind and friendly is the best way to manage feelings of loneliness and ultimately gain friendships.
8. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle – This long-time favorite book of teachers everywhere includes a life lesson about emotions from a ladybug. He learns that being grouchy and avoiding manners isn’t the best way to keep friends.
9. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst – For those days when nothing seems to go right, and the classroom atmosphere has tanked, try this book. In it, the main character Alexander suffers from similar circumstances, and the uplifting ending will smooth things over. Alexander learns that things aren’t really that bad.
10. When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang – How do people deal with scary emotions like anger? In this book, children learn what happens when Sophie gets angry, and how she learns that solitude and space can make things better.
Incorporate writing activities into your lessons about feelings with books like The Feelings Book and The Feel Good book by Todd Parr. Click here to check it out. Find this book for 4 more children’s books that help teach emotional awareness in this book companion resource for K-2.
Emotional Skills Videos
Pull up these great videos as a supplement to your lessons on emotional skills. They are great for visual and auditory learners, and they entertain while creatively teaching the concepts. Your students are going to love them!
Controlling Emotions by Math and Learning Videos for Kids
We are all kinda like Mr. Box – holding in our emotions until one day we explode. Watch this video about managing strong emotions with your class, and your students will be able to see how we can’t just let things roll around in our heads without dealing with them.
Learn Feelings and Emotions by Learning Time Fun
Do your students know the vocabulary necessary for labeling their emotions? For younger students, sometimes a video like this one can help them name how they’re feeling.
Kids will enjoy matching emotion words with real pictures representing each emotion. Click here to check it out.
Sad, Bad, Terrible Day by The Learning Station
This cute song can be used to get kids moving and dancing while learning about how to deal with a bad day. Have them “brush it off” along with the character, and watch them squeal with laughter about the bird poop!
Name That Emotion with Murray by Sesame Street
Sesame Street brings it again – a cute little puppet skit. This one is about emotions, in which children are exposed to vocabulary and funny circumstances that cause the puppets to express them.
Encourage kids to self-reflect on how they are feeling and show it on the emotions clip chart. The perfect tool for your classroom meeting. Click here to check it out.
The Tantrum Phantom by Candyseed Stories
Tantrums make people want to avoid you, and being lonely isn’t fun. In this short story, Brianna learns that controlling her temper is the best way to get what she wants.
Feelings & Emotions Classroom Resources
The complete emotions unit includes tons of helpful lessons and activities to help children learn to identify their feelings and express them appropriately. Click here to see everything included.
Emotions Book Companions
This emotional awareness resource includes 5 book companions on popular children’s books that relate to feelings and emotions (The Color Monster; The Feelings Book; Glad Monster, Sad Monster; F is for Feelings; In My Heart). Children will participate in classroom discussions and book chats, share their feelings in written form, and participate in fun, engaging activities that build emotional awareness and social skills.
This emotions book companion resource includes a detailed lesson plan, guided questions, anchor chart, writing response, and follow-up activities (printable and digital included) for all 5 books. Great for distance learning and remote teaching of social-emotional skills!
Read More about Teaching Emotions
The above books and videos teach students about emotions and encourage the growth of emotional intelligence. Try reading and watching them in your classroom, and you can reach those little minds and hearts in your care.
More Resources to Teach Emotional Skills
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