We live in a confusing world. Some days I watch the news and shake my head. I myself don’t know how to process the events, let alone explain them to those in our care who are young and impressionable.
Books have always been my answer when it’s time to have difficult conversations with kids.
When discussing death, I tend to read the picture books The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup, That Summer by Tony Johnston or The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson all also effective.
When discussing prejudice or intolerance, I read Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson or Don’t Laugh at Me by Allen Shamblin and Steve Seskin.
When discussing messages of kindness, The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson and The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig are excellent choices.
Books generate such wonderful discussion. And, I guess that’s why I love working with children. Children have the ability to frame things with such humanity and hope. “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” Angela Schwindt
9 thoughts on My answer is books!
Oh yes! I could not agree more!
There are so many great examples, some of my favorited you have in your blog. Thanks for reminding us where to find words to help us when there are no words.
When there are no words… so true.
Love these book ideas! I’ve been thinking about these hard conversations with children – and you have shared some great ideas. Thank you!
thanks for those reminders! I hadn’t thought of using those familiar texts to answer worries so directly. I look forward to saving your list and creating one of my own.
Great post. Unfortunately it deleted my first and more detailed response when I submitted a comment. WE probably should all keep a list like yours and add to it when appropriate. Trying a comment again.
I can never resist a slice that mentions books. You’ve included some great titles in your post. Some that I love: The Invisible Boy, The Other Side, and The Velveteen Rabbit. I requested The Big Umbrella from the library this week. I love how books can help us have difficult conversations with students.
I love your observation about children framing things through a lens of humanity and hope. When do adults outgrow that, I wonder. Your young students may just have the key to a better world.
If only we all looked at the world with humanity and hope… always. When does that change?