We’ve talked about the games, fidgets, and decor you’ll need for your counseling office, but have we talked about all the books you’ll need? Someday soon, I’ll write about the books you’ll need to enhance your craft, but for now, let’s go over some basic social/emotional books together. I’ve included books that explore anger, anxiety, perfectionism, responsibility, diversity, bullying, friendship, and consent. If you’re budget minded, these would be the books I’d start with to begin my school counseling office book collection.
#1 “Red Red Red”
Everyone feels anger, and “Red Red Red” normalizes the experience and gives a great visual representation of how breathing calms our bodies down. This is particularly good for our pre-kindergarten up to first-grade students.
#2 “My Mouth is a Volcano”
This is another excellent book to help children explore their angry feelings and learn control techniques; I’ve used it with the upper elementary grades.
#3 “The Invisible Boy”
This book tackles the concepts of bullying and empathy. It’s an excellent resource for fourth and fifth graders to help them learn actionable skills for managing challenging situations.
#4 “I Really Like Slop”
Kindergarteners adore this book! It’s a great resource to explore the concepts of diversity and friendship because not all of our friends will like the same things we do, but how we respond to our differences is essential.
#5 “Friends Stick Together”
Covering the same concept of friendship and diversity but for an older audience, this book allows a lot of opportunity for reflection and empathy building. But don’t think it’s boring, they’ve got jokes!
#6 “What if Everybody Did That?”
This is my go-to book to teach my first-graders about responsibility. The character in the story makes several decisions in which he is asked, “What if everybody did that?” Children love guessing what would happen if everybody engaged in those activities and can apply that knowledge to their lives.
#7 “Clark the Shark”
This fun story follows Clark, a friendly shark that often plays too rough and has trouble controlling his emotions. An excellent read for pre-kindergarten through first grade.
#8 “Ruby’s Worry”
An incredible book that teaches young children, typically kindergarten through first grade, about the experience of worry and how we can manage those big feelings.
#9 “The Good Egg”
Part of an ingenious collection of stories, this book follows a young egg who struggles with the stress and anxiety over being perfect and the challenges that arise when the eggs around him are “bad.” A great way to help children who struggle with perfectionism; I’ve used it up through third grade.
#10 “Don’t Hug Doug”
Body safety is essential, and this is a great book to explore the concept of consent. If your budget is too tight, check out Barbara Sinatra’s http://www.fightchildabuse.org to explore free virtual options for body safety.
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One thought on “Ten Must-Have Books for Your Elementary School Counseling Office”
I love this!
If you want the newest from Deborah Farmer Kris (PBS Parents columnist) You Are Growing All the Time, happy to send your way!
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