My 3 Favorite, Fantastic Books For Emotions and Perspective Taking
Need some help working on emotions and social skills with your students? My last posts shared some tips and some amazing links for free information to use with a slant toward older or more skilled students. For me, that happened to be my emotionally disturbed students, who lack the emotion vocabulary needed for interactions with their peers, especially in terms of conflicts and problem solving. Read along for my 3 favorite book suggestions on dealing with emotions.
This week is for sharing some of my favorite books and resources for younger or more limited students. In my case, this is my students who are on the autism spectrum. Last week’s post centered students who could initiate interactions, but then misinterpreted social cues and, consequently, get into conflicts. This week’s post is geared more towards students who have limited interactions with their peers. It also applies to students who interact without ever realizing that everyone else does not have the same interests that they do.
Vocabulary- The Basics
Still start with emotion vocabulary. See the last post here if you’d like some great links for the vocabulary resources. Choose your vocabulary targets to expand their language ability for thinking about and expressing their feelings. Keep in mind activities based on the students’ ages and cognitive skills. Remember what problems they are showing in their school interactions. Make sure they can use more than the 4 basic emotions and that they express degrees of emotion!
Literacy – Apply the Vocabulary with Skill Practice
After students can use the new words expressively and identify the basic emotion group, try using stories! Using literacy activities is good practice, especially for a caseload of limited readers. Good stories provide a context for understanding emotions and situations in a way that vocabulary drills won’t.
Perhaps most important of all, applying the new vocabulary in discussion of story plots helps students to understand that people have different perspectives. What made the story character feel angry may make your student feel sad.
3 Favorite Books
No, David, NO! by David Shannon is an all time favorite for young children. David’s antics are always getting him into trouble while he is just trying to have fun.
The simple plot and pictures are great for eliciting sentences in a story retell. Meanwhile, the situations lend themselves to discussing cause-effect and why mom does not see things the way that David does.
A Bad Case of Stripes
A Bad Case of Stripes, also by David Shannon, is another one of my go – to books. On the surface, the plot is seemingly a straight forward story abut a girl who has back-to-school nerves. The pictures in the books lend to a discussion about facial expressions as Camilla develops a bad case of stripes after deciding to avoid her favorite food, lima beans. Understanding Camilla’s motivation in her decision making was difficult for my upper elementary and lower middle school students to understand.
Dear Mrs. LaRue
Dear Mrs. LaRue, by Mark Teague, is another elementary level paperback that worked well for these grades. I have to admit that the first time I read it, I wasn’t sure that a letter style book could keep my students interested, but I was proven wrong! The illustrations in black and white versus color were of great interest, helping my students to compare the perspectives of Ike the dog to his owner, Mrs. LaRue. The vocabulary used and length of the letters were great for expanding the language and listening skills for the students in the group without social goals. Even better, there are so many free activities to be found online!
More Books for Teaching Emotion Vocabulary
You can get more ideas for books to use at these links:
One of my favorite purchased resources for stories that directly teach emotion vocabulary is Focus on Feelings from Attainment Company. The stories feature older people and focus on specific vocabulary targets. Later stories have review and use real photos. The bonus is that they are short enough to maintain my students attention!
Do you have a favorite that I missed?