Books can be an awesome tool for addressing certain classroom behaviors. Here are some fun readalouds for every behavior from tattling to lying to picking your nose – check out this fun list!
I provided the links for you to see them directly on Amazon if you want to check them out – some links are affiliate links which means I get commission if you buy from the links, it’s no extra cost for you but I just wanted to let you know!
Tattling can be a huge issue in elementary school. These books are wonderful for teaching students tattling vs. reporting to cut down on the silly, “He keeps looking at me!” type tattles.
A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue is a favorite of mine for teaching kids not to tattle. Josh tattles so much that he wakes up with a tattle tongue! It’s a great book for lessons on when it’s important to tell to help others vs. tell to get others in trouble.
I also love Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales for teaching students the correct way to handle solutions with their peers before tattling.
This Tattling vs. Reporting pack of activities goes great with these books for K-2 students!
A great lesson to teach right after your tattling lesson is to teach your students how to properly resolve conflicts with each other on their own.
I really love A Bug and A Wish for this lesson because it teaches kids a simple sentence frame for telling each other how they feel. A little boy finds a ladybug and a dandelion (hence a bug and a wish) and helps kids remember to say something like, “It bugs me when you ____. I wish you would ____.” When another student hears a peer tell them “a bug and a wish,” they know to stop and listen and try to be a better friend. It’s such an easy reminder when students run up to you to tattle for you to ask them first if they did a bug and a wish. 🙂
BLURTING & INTERRUPTING
Young kids can get excited. Really excited. Sometimes in the middle of your sentence. These are fun books to help teach students to wait their turn to speak, raise their hand, and not blurt out in class.
My Mouth is a Volcano is a great book for this! It’s told from the perspective of Louis who feels like he can’t help interrupting and is great for teaching kids strategies to help them stop interrupting and learn to listen.
Interrupting Chicken is also great – it’s colorful and will have your kids laughing out loud. It’s a great lesson to show
If you have a really chatty class or a few specific students that are really chatty, I really recommend Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker to stress the importance of listening rather than talking nonstop.
RESPECTING PERSONAL SPACE
Some kids don’t understand personal space – they love you, they want to be close to you – but sometimes they’re in your “bubble.”
Personal Space Camp is a wonderful book for teaching students about personal space. It has a really fun space theme and teaches the concept in a cute, humorous way.
ALWAYS HAVING TO BE FIRST
It seems like a silly behavior problem but it. is. real. There are some kids that just have to be first – first in line, first to recess, first to the carpet. They will run and push to get there and make a scene if they aren’t first.
Me First is a cute story about a pig who always has to be first. It’s a great way to start a discussion on why being first isn’t being the best and to be considerate of their friends.
This book is by the Tacky the Penguin creators which is another story I love and mention later. 🙂
Sometimes young kids have trouble understanding that when they steal something that they like, they’re also taking it from someone else and hurting them.
Ricky Sticky Fingers does a great job of showing students that stealing hurts others and that it does not feel good. If you have any students in your class that pick things up that aren’t theirs, this is a great book to discuss the difficult subject in a way that teaches them empathy and the importance of doing the right thing.
Speaking of stealing, Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie is a great book to show that just because you find something does not mean it is yours and lying about who it belongs to is not okay. A lot of times kids think “finders keepers” and lie that something is theirs in order to keep it. This book does a great job of teaching about why that’s wrong.
I also love Lying Up a Storm for teaching students about lying. It not only shows how lying can make you feel icky inside but that a lot of times lies lead to lies lead to lies that get bigger and harder to maintain. I really love Julia Cook books for teaching difficult but important life skills from the perspective of the kid and in an engaging way that students can relate to.
I had to include The Berenstain Bears and the Truth because I remember reading this book as a kid and thinking about why lying was wrong. I loved The Berenstain Bears books when I was little – they were fun to read and always made me think. This book shows how even a little lie can get bigger and that it’s better to just tell the truth in the first place.
The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot! is another favorite of mine to teach – it’s a fun twist on the classic tale with super fun illustrations and a great message!
Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice is a great book for teaching kids about volume control and inside vs. outside voices. It is a lot of fun to practice the 5 voice levels in the book with your kids to demonstrate what they should sound like.
USING TOO MUCH GLUE
Using too much glue can be a legitimate issue! Have you ever handed a kindergarten student a glue bottle and turned your back?! Eek!
Too Much Glue is a really cute story about a creative boy who loves to use glue. It does a great job of facilitating discussion as to why you should only use a dot. 🙂
Some kids (and adults… I’m definitely guilty!) suffer from perfectionism that actually stifles their creativity and gets in the way of their learning.
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes is a great book to teach kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and not everyone is, or needs to be, perfect! It’s a great lesson because some kids just will not try for fear of failing and it’s important that they learn that it’s okay to take risks in their learning.
Achoo: Good Manners Can Be Contagious is the CUTEST book for teaching manners! I mean, seriously, I absolutely adore it. It’s written in playful, funny rhymes that will have your kids cracking up. It starts off with little Suzy Sue not covering when she sneezes and a bunch of farm animals being shocked. They realize she doesn’t know her manners and start teaching her all the basics we’re constantly reminding young students like cover your cough, share, say please and thank you, wash your hands, etc. I just love it – it’s so fun to read and it covers a lot of manners in a cute way!
Do Unto Otters is another super cute book for teaching kids manners and how to be kind to others. It’s an adorable story about Mr. Rabbit who gets new neighbors – otters! – and learns how to treat otters (others). I love this one too!
IMPULSIVENESS, MAKING GOOD CHOICES
What If Everybody Did That? is a great book to show that even the smallest inconsiderate actions like littering or interrupting someone who is reading actually are a big deal. It shows what those things would be like if everybody did them and really help impulsive kiddos see the consequences of their actions. Kids actually tend to really love this book and I love that it’s a positive book about following the rules… and it has a really cute ending!
Too Shy for Show-and-Tell is a great book for helping kids overcome shyness and the fear of presenting in front of the class. This is a great read aloud to do before you do any sort of writing sharing, show and tell, or any type of presenting. Even your most extroverted kids can feel scared to present in front of the class so it’s a great book not only for your shy kids but everyone.
The Invisible Boy is a great book for your class to hear to remember to include the shy kids. Quiet students can often feel overlooked and this is a great book that addresses it in a sensitive way. I really love how this book doesn’t encourage the quiet boy to change and be more outgoing/loud, but rather for his peers to realize how valuable and awesome he is just as he is. Just because he’s shy doesn’t mean he isn’t creative and fun and wonderful. For some reason this story really touches me and I think it’s an important lesson for your students to learn and this book does a great job with it.
I absolutely love reading Peanut Butter & Cupcake for teaching kids to keep trying when it comes to making friends. Having friends is really important to kids (and everyone) and sometimes it can be really discouraging when you feel like no one wants to play with you. This is such a cute and funny rhyming story about a piece of peanut butter toast (the characters are foods) who goes around trying to make friends and has some humorous difficulty – it’s a great lesson in not giving up on making friends.
I love Elmer! He is a patchwork colored elephant that the other elephants laugh at because of his different hide. It’s a great lesson in being yourself and loving yourself for your unique qualities!
Tacky the Penguin is a classic story about a wacky penguin who is definitely different from the rest of the penguins but kids love him for it!
Giraffes Can’t Dance is another favorite with it’s fun illustrations and cute rhyming about a clumsy giraffe that the other animals don’t accept because he can’t dance… until he finds his perfect song. It’s a great start to a discussion on how we shouldn’t laugh at people for being different and that everyone is special in their own way.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is about a little girl who is very different but loves herself and wins over the bully at her new school not with retaliation but with her unwavering self confidence. It’s a book kids love with such a great message!
You probably already have The Crayon Box that Talked in your classroom library but just in case you don’t, I recommend adding it. It’s a cute little story and there are a ton of activities you can find online to do with it.
It seems silly to have “enemies” when you’re 5 or 6 but it happens. A simple not sharing of a crayon can make kids dislike each other BUT the great thing about elementary school enemies is that enemies can become best friends the next day.
Enemy Pie is a cute story about a little boy who has an enemy. His dad tells him the way to get rid of an enemy is to not only spend the day with them… but be nice! As you probably guessed, they end up having a lot of fun and becoming good friends. It’s a great reminder to students that you might actually really like your “enemy” and to give them a chance.
It is really important to recognize and address bullying in your classroom but also remember that the “bullies” are just kids too and to help them change their ways.
Mean Jean The Recess Queen is a mean bully on the playground to the other kids until a new girl takes an unexpected step and asks her to play with her. I love how this book enforces the idea that you stop bullying with kindness, not more bullying. “Bullies” are people too and, especially as young kids, a lot of times they’re mean to others because they don’t feel acceptance themselves.
The Juice Box Bully is another bullying book that encourages kindness and not stooping down to the level of bullying. One thing I love about this book is that it stresses the importance of bystanders having a responsibility to stop bullying. Great starter activity for classroom community discussions about how we are all part of the classroom community and need to do our part.
Getting kids to listen can be difficult – some kids wiggle, stare off into space, and some just simply don’t listen. Having books to stress the importance of good listening and following directions is pretty much crucial all year long.
Listen, Buddy is a funny story about a bunny who just can’t seem to listen despite his massive ears which causes him to make silly mistakes your kids will think are funny.
Another bunny who struggles with listening is Howard B. Wigglebottom – don’t you just love his name? Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen is good for teaching the importance of listening!
Yes, I went there! If you teach little ones, sometimes you’ll get a group (or maybe just one nasally adventurous kiddo) that needs this lesson.
Don’t Pick Your Nose, Pinocchio! is a cute story to address nose picking. Kids think the topic of nose picking is hilarious and always get a, “Who, me?! I would never!” look on their face when you talk about it so a fun book is a way to quickly address it in a fun way without having to give an awkward speech.
Worrying and anxiety can be a serious problem with kids. Even though I probably seemed outgoing as a kid, I was constantly worrying about anything and everything and it was really unpleasant to always have worries swirling in my head. Having books with characters kids can relate to is so important for any topic, especially worrying, so kids who chronically overthink can have positive stories to overthink about. 🙂
Wemberly Worried is a great back to school book for students worried about school. Wemberly worries about pretty much everything but is super worried about her first day of school… which turns out to be a lot of fun!
I absolutely love Scaredy Squirrel because I totally relate to him and kids who have anxiety will too. He is a squirrel who is afraid to leave his tree but all his days are the same… until one day he falls out of the tree into “the unknown” and ends up realizing not only can he fly but “the unknown” can be a lot of fun.
I actually love Scaredy Squirrel Makes A Friend even more. It’s a lot like the original but this time he is afraid of making new friends because he doesn’t want to get bitten by all the “scary” characters. He meets a dog who he thinks is going to bite him but they end up becoming friends. It’s a great story to also discuss how making new friends can be scary but is so worthwhile which makes it a great read aloud for back to school or any time of the year.
The Worrywarts is a fun book about some super worriers that worry about everything in humorous alliteration with words that start with W. Be warned that it does have the word “weiners” referring to hot dogs in it so skip that page or this book if you think it’s inappropriate for your kids but, for me, it just makes kids giggle because the whole book is already so silly.
There are a lot of great children’s books on sharing.
I love Mine-O-Saur! It’s a funny book about a dinosaur who hogs everything and won’t share with the other dinosaur friends until he realizes what he really wants is friends.
The Selfish Crocodile is also a cute book to teach about selfishness and why sharing and being a good friend is so much better. Kids love this one!
Some kids really struggle with anger and knowing how to deal with it properly.
I really, really love Zach Gets Frustrated for helping students recognize when they’re angry and gives them an easy 3 step system for staying in control. It teaches students to name it (figure out why they’re upset), tame it (do the calming down strategy that works for them), and reframe it (try to think about the situation differently to get over their frustration). I really love this because it lets students acknowledge why they’re frustrated so their feelings are legitimized but encourages them to identify it and use a calming technique like deep breathing to help think clearly about the situation – SO helpful for students who throw tantrums when they’re angry. Zach does use a few words I omit (I say “silly” instead of “stupid” and “foolish” instead of “idiotic”) when I read it aloud but you can also use that as a lesson on how Zach says things he shouldn’t when he’s angry and why it’s important that he learns to name, tame, and reframe in order to not do that. The words rhyme so when one of your little ones starts getting frustrated, you can tell them to “name, tame, and reframe” before they meltdown.
Cool Down and Work Through Anger is a good book to talk about anger that takes place in a school setting so they’re really relatable frustrating situations kids encounter in school. It gives kids tools to use when they’re feeling angry.
How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad! is a funny book to introduce the topic of anger. It doesn’t necessarily teach kids how to control their anger but kids love seeing and laughing at what dinosaurs do when they’re angry.
Saying sorry is really hard for some kids. Zach Apologizes is another great Zach book that teaches kids how to properly apologize. Have you ever had a kid just shout, “SORRY!” in an unfriendly tone at someone when you ask them to apologize? This book teaches the 4 components an apology should have like acknowledging what you did wrong, how it made the other person feel, what you could have done differently, and an attempt to make it up to them.
BEING OVERLY SENSITIVE
For kids who get their feelings hurt easily or cry really easily, Hurty Feelings is perfect to show them how their friends feel about it. I don’t recommend reading this whole group because the sensitive child might feel singled out. Instead, find a special, private moment where you can share it in a small group reading activity with other sensitive kids or with them alone.
NOT GIVING UP
The Most Magnificent Thing is a wonderful book about a creative little girl who wants to make the most magnificent thing and continuously fails. It’s a great book with a wonderful don’t give up message.
When your class is just simply out of control, these classics are great go-to read alouds!
I didn’t really understand No, David! and the other David books… until I read them to a group of kids for the first time and they just couldn’t stop laughing. Kids just get obsessed with these books. They laugh hysterically at the illustrations and the situations David gets into. Any of the David books are good to pull out as a read aloud to start a conversation on rules and how to act.
Miss Nelson is Missing is one of my all time favorites since I was a kid. Miss Nelson’s kids are misbehaving and she comes up with a quite clever way to teach them to behave.
I hope you loved this list of books by behavior! I absolutely love children’s books and hope this has helped you find ones to address the unique needs of your kids! These books are perfect to read in the first few weeks of school but I think you should read them all year long to reinforce positive behaviors and any time you need to address a particular behavior.
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Which of these books are your favorite? Did you discover any new ones? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!