After-school workshops for kids that provide age-appropriate info, meaningful practice with essential social-emotional skills, and an opportunity to connect with peers. Rachel Lotus’s progressive curriculum embraces a broader understanding of sexuality education, going far beyond the basics of traditional sex ed, and reflects the realities of today’s world. The Talk also offers support to parents on a range of issues with a focus on normalizing sexuality and providing tools to navigate difficult, often awkward conversations.
SEL Home » Resources with tag: self-esteem
Unusual and visually compelling picture book from an author who tackles other sensitive topics with similar aplomb and grace (she has books on death, divorce and race, too). Written in a voice that honors the kinds of real thoughts and questions kids actually have.
This funny viral video uses various tea-based scenarios to illustrate the nuances of consent for tweens and teens. Somewhat reductive in its metaphor, it is nevertheless amusing and relatable to most adolescents. Great way to start a conversation about the more unsettling aspects of sexual consent.
This best-selling book by award-winning journalist Peggy Orenstein sheds a somewhat disturbing light on female sexuality in the modern age. But that’s not all, she also makes the case for fearless comprehensive sex education. Though the author profiles older subjects, it’s worth a read, since the bulk of conditioning and attitude-shaping happens in the early years. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, watch her TED talk.
American author and mother contrasts the way we approach sexuality related issues with our children here in the U.S. with the way things are done in the Netherlands. Engaging, eye-opening, and well-done.
All children are curious about sex. The more children know about their own sexuality, the less likely it is that others will take advantage of them because of their lack of knowledge.
Well done, written in fun, accessible language, with enough graphics to break up text, it’s a favorite among young people.
This best-selling book has been around for a while. It’s practical, answers lots of questions, and has been recently updated to feel somewhat more current.
Better than you’d expect from American Girl, this book focus on self-care, self-esteem, body changes and overall health.
Follows up first book with more in-depth details about physical and emotional changes, questions about periods, growing bodies, peer pressure, personal care, and more
This charming book challenges young readers to see beyond the binary by framing the main character’s struggle – born into the Land of This and That, but not quite fitting into either “this” or “that”- in a way that encourages empathy and discovery. Neither allows all of us to explore gender and what it means to be someone in the margins or outside of the binary world of boy and girl. It gives kids the chance to understand that gender is not always this or that. Great read-aloud.
The author of the well-known Heather Has Two Mommies, Leslea Newman has several books about LGBTQ families. This one takes a somewhat heavy-handed approach about a gender non-conforming character, but the book’s clear, unwavering messages of support and acceptance are heartening.
Every December a 321 teacher gives her students $1 and tells them they have to come up with create ways to spread as much kindness with $1 as possible (without combining funds). Examples of things students have done: Turned the $1 into 100 pennies and put them near a fountain with a sign to make a holiday wish, buy a poster board and make a sign offering to carry groceries, buy a poster and make a sign collecting money for a homeless man, collecting $40, presenting it to him and hugging him when he hugged her, cut pine branches off a tree, bought a $1 bow and made a wreath leaving it anonymously on a neighbor’s door, another student donated the dollar to a charity, but emailed his parents’ contact list saying that he did it and hoped that would also donate (I think the charity ended up getting $400), the list goes on and on. Why not do a $1 act of kindness every month?
“A sweetness in the images and the text elevates the book from sheer simplicity to usefulness in providing behavioral role models.” —Kirkus Reviews
Amos McGee, an elderly man who works at the zoo, finds time each day for five special friends. With empathy and understanding he gives the elephant, tortoise, penguin, rhinoceros, and owl the attention they need. One morning, Amos wakes up with a bad cold and stays home in bed. His friends wait patiently and then leave the zoo to visit him.
“Peace is an Offering is an exceptional book with beautiful illustrations and a meaningful message that appeals to preschool through second grade level students. The book captivated students’ interests and inspired open-hearted discussions that led to deeper project work. Students readily responded by talking about family, friends, walking away from conflict, acts of kindness, gratitude, and how to maintain a peaceful feeling. We read several books aloud to students, and Peace is an Offering received immediate comments from students about the illustrations and how much they like the book overall. This book should be in every lower grade level classroom.” Makes a mention of 9/11.
More than ever before, our world needs more goodness…more kindness… more caring…more courage…more YOU in it. But, what can one do? Here’s the answer: Throughout your life there’s a voice that only you can hear. It’s a call to make a difference that only you can make. If you never hear it, something magical will be lost. But if you hear it and heed it, your life will become a wonderful romance and adventure. The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away. The place you are in needs you today. Your spark can become a flame and change everything. Instead of asking, “What can I get from life?” this book challenges and guides you to answer the question, “What can I give?”
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
As budding young readers learn about numbers and counting, they are also introduced to accepting different body types, developing social skills and character, and learning what it means to find value in yourself and in others.
Miller explores the topic of kindness through the story of a child pondering how to respond when a friend spills grape juice on herself. In the language of a child’s thoughts, Miller provides examples of kindness (giving, helping, paying attention), and acknowledges that it is not always easy to be kind, especially when others aren’t.
A celebration of the world’s diverse cultures, both our similarities and differences. Fox’s message is that no matter where we come from, within our hearts, “Joys are the same, / and love is the same. / Pain is the same, / and blood is the same.”
“…a beautiful book with a beautiful message…the book shows young children how easy it is to be kind through small acts and in simple ways…” ―R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder
Parable about mercy and empathy that asks readers to look at life from an insect’s point of view
This heartwarming book encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by “filling buckets.”
Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, How Full Is Your Bucket? shows how even the smallest interactions we have with others every day profoundly affect our relationships, productivity, health and longevity. This is a version for young readers.
Auggie & Me is a new side to the Wonder story: three new chapters from three different characters: bully Julian, oldest friend Christopher and classmate Charlotte
A picture book by the author of Wonder, that explains for young readers how someone can look different but feel completely normal and how it feels to look different and have people stare at you. The message is “Look with kindness and you will always find wonder.”
These are books about marginalized characters or characters facing difficult challenges who respond with courage. If Wonder helped your reader develop more empathy, these books will help build on their interest.
Thoughtful picture book about a young Korean girl on her first day of school. Beautiful, expressive illustrations show how a considerate teacher and even a new friend help Sumi discover that school might not be so lonely after all.
A funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance.
Cliques Just Don’t Make Cents is a book that helps kids understand the emotional toll that cliques can have on those who are excluded from popular social groups. It also teaches children how to build better relationships.
All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes. Jeremy soon sees that the things he has—warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend—are worth more than the things he wants.
Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. As budding young readers learn about numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors, they also learn about accepting each other’s differences and how it sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count.
“Readers will chime in with the ‘hip, hip hooray’ this cuddly-looking creature earns when he finally embraces and celebrates his differences.” —Kirkus
The girl in this story sees it happening, but she would never do these mean things herself. Then one day something happens that shows her that being a silent bystander isn’t enough. Will she take some steps on her own to help another kid? Could it be as simple as sitting on the bus with the girl no one has befriended (and discovering that she has a great sense of humor)? Resources at the end of the book will help parents and children talk about teasing and bullying and find ways to stop it at school. One child at a time can help change a school.
In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipes for turning your best enemy into your best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.
Ideal for sparking conversations about tolerance, the need for compromise, and fear of the unknown.
This gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource.
Shows kids how easy it is to develop empathy toward those around them. Empathy is the ability to notice what other people feel. Empathy leads to the social skills and personal relationships which make our lives rich and beautiful, and it is something we can help our children learn.
A fresh and original twist on the common issue of bullying. Kids will relate, and parents and teachers will appreciate the story’s deft handling of conflict resolution, which happens without adult intervention.
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.
Blends humor with practical advice as it tackles a serious subject. Trevor Romain starts by explaining what cliques are and why they exist: because everyone wants to have friends. He reveals why some cliques are so annoying—and often full of phonies. And he shares the secret to being popular: just be yourself!
This is a very cute story about kids learning to be friends with people who have different interests. It takes place as a competition between two school clubs and a rivalry spurred on when the principal calls out both clubs for not contributing to the school community. The characters learn to get past embarrassment and bad history, and that their actions have consequences not just for themselves but that also affect those around them. The artwork is beautiful and the cast displays many ethnicities & personalities.
A great middle school book on bullying. Jensen is a little overweight and spends a lot of time fantasizing about becoming an astronaut (even though he’s failing math). He’s an ordinary kid who tries too hard to belong. Kids sniff out that neediness and then it’s open season. Jensen triumphs not because he loses weight, or becomes an athlete or a brilliant student. He finds his own place in the Middle School Jungle, through maturity of thought, while staying his own dreamy self.
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What Does a Princess Really Look Like? is part of the Brave Like A Girl Series. Chloe loves princesses and ballerinas, but she also wants to create a Princess Ballerina that mirrors herself. When Chloe is finished creating her strong, smart, and kind princess, Chloe’s dads pop in to see the final product. They celebrate the girl, their daughter, who is being represented through paper, glue, and jewels.
“This picture book is filled with wit and musings on what it means for a young girl to be beautiful. The illustrations evoke a feeling of uniqueness, independence, and strength, defining beauty through diversity, talents, and passions.” —School Library Journal
High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.
The combination of Parr’s silly sense of humor and bright illustrations draws in kids of all ages. Parr often references families with two moms, two dads, and adoptive families. Be Who You Are encourages and emphasizes the beauty of our differences, including wearing what we need to feel like ourselves and being proud of where we are from.
A boldly illustrated picture book read-aloud about how everyone gets sad—ninjas, wrestlers, knights, superheroes, everyone . . . even daddies have emotions!
A chart that uses the language of growth mindset to encourage children to love effort and change negative language and attitudes toward difficult tasks
For the early grades’ exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity.
With his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity, Parr explores the subject of all things scary and assures readers that all of us are afraid sometimes.
This fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain will empower each young reader to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow their Fantastic, Elastic Brain!
Kazoo is an ad-free, award-winning magazine for girls. This issue focuses on the importance of making mistakes and features women experts from Senator Elizabeth Warren to NASA engineer Laurie Grindle. There’s an amazing comic about Julia Child and how she made mistakes all the time and just kept going.
Embraces life’s happy accidents, the mistakes and mess-ups that can lead to self discovery. Makes readers feel good about themselves, encouraging them to try new things, experiment, and dare to explore new paths.
Twelve-year-old Marshall wants to be a superhero, but his powers always go wrong. He can shoot lasers from his eyes, but they either miss the target or cause more damage. And when you have severe motion sickness, flying is no fun. Marshall and others like him are referred to as “defectives.” But when the villainous Man With No Name tries to destroy the city again, Marshall and The Night Owl, a retired crime fighter, must team up to work with the powers they have, redeem themselves, and save the day.
“Deeply researched . . . [Gopnik’s] approach focuses on helping children to find their own way . . . She describes a wide range of experiments showing that children learn less through ‘conscious and deliberate teaching’ than through watching, listening, and imitating.” ―Josie Glausiusz, Nature
Part of the very well-done American Girl Smart Girl’s Guide Series, this book offers insight into drama, from jealousy to gossip to cyberbullying, and how to deal with it. Kids (yes, boys too!) can learn why drama exists, how it starts, what keeps it going, and how to cool it down.
The 2019 5th grade students on our No Place for Hate committee documented some classroom practices that promote kindness and inclusion at PS 321 so that parents and teachers might learn about some of the ways we are teaching the whole child here at 321. Have a look!