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Learning How to Compromise through Picture Books – 2023

Reading aloud children’s books to your elementary students is a great way to introduce and teach compromising. Below is a list of our favorite picture books to teach this social emotional learning topic. They all lend themselves well to facilitating rich classroom discussions around compromise. We Found a Hat, Rulers of the Playground, The Day the Crayons Came Home and The Story of Fish and Snail are part of our compromise SEL Unit, which includes interactive read aloud lesson plans among tons of other resources for teaching compromise. Learn all about these compromise books below and how you can use them to support your students with learning how to compromise!

5 Books for Learning How to Compromise

Below are 5 quality children’s books for elementary teachers teaching compromise. Your kids will love these read alouds! They are great for teaching compromising, as well as many other concepts and skills.

1. We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

The first on the list of books for students learning how to compromise is We Found a Hat. There are two turtles- and they find a hat. But, only one hat. The hat looks good on both of them. Since there is only one, they decide to leave it. Through beautifully drawn illustrations, we can infer that both turtles think of the hat. When one turtle sneaks off to get it, the other shares a dream where both of them are wearing hats. The turtle realizes it is better that neither of them have it, than just one. This silly story is broken into three parts and uses simple language to evoke sympathy and the importance of compromise. My Compromise SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

We Found a Hat book coverRulers of the Playground book cover

2. Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler

A boy named Jonah decides he wants to rule the playground and be king. He claims the slides as his territory and the other kids pinky promise to obey him. Another girl, Lennox, realizes that she also wants to rule the playground and claims the swings as her territory and makes the other kids promise to obey her. Jonah and Lennox quickly decide that it isn’t fun to rule and they apologize to the kids and stop being king and queen. Now everyone can play on the playground together. This story lends itself to teaching of compromise because the children decide to do what is best for everyone in fairness. My Compromise SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

3. The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt

The third on the list of books for students learning how to compromise is The Day the Crayons Came Home. It tells the story of a boy named Duncan and his missing crayons. One day, Duncan received a stack of postcards and discovered each was from one of his crayons! The crayons have left the box for different reasons: maroon was lost in the couch, pea green wanted to see the world, and neon red was left at a hotel. Despite being gone for awhile, the crayons are all ready to come home for various reasons. When Duncan does collect all the crayons, he finds they no longer fit in the box! To make them feel at home, he makes them their own crayon fort! This adorable story will have students laughing as the crayons share their challenges faced outside the box. My Compromise SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

The Day the Crayons Came Home book and activityThe Story of Fish and Snail book cover

4. The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman

One day, Fish wants to show Snail a new story, with pirates and special treasure. Snail wants to stay in his current story, where he can play kittens and be safe. When Fish swims away to the next book, Snail quickly misses him. He falls to the next book, bravely looking for his friend. When Fish sees him, he learns to compromise and join his friend in a pirate boat as kittens. My Compromise SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

5. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

The last on the list of books for students learning how to compromise is The Biggest Pumpkin Ever. There were once two mice who fell in love with the same pumpkin, not knowing about each other. One mouse took care of the pumpkin so he would win the Pumpkin Contest. The other mouse took care of the pumpkin so he could create the best jack-o-lantern ever. Once they find out about each other, they make a deal to enter the contest, then have the pumpkin be used as a jack-o-lantern for the town. Working together, they make a great team and are able to come to a compromise! Check out these The Biggest Pumpkin Ever activities!

The Biggest Pumpkin book cover

Integrated SEL and Literacy Activities

Below are some integrated SEL and literacy resources for elementary teachers.

SEL Unit

Our Compromise Unit, which is available individually or as part of a year-long SEL bundle, includes lessons for the first four books on this list. This unit is packed with lesson plans, teaching resources, games, and activities. Learn more about it!

Compromise SEL Unit
Social Emotional Learning Units Bundle

SEL Book Companions

As I mentioned earlier, I love teaching SEL skills using picture books. That’s why I created the Starts With a Story Collection. High quality children’s literature supports elementary teachers in delivering meaningful and accessible SEL lessons. All of the read alouds on this list are part of this book companion collection. Check out the book companions below!

We Found a HatRulers of the Playground book companionThe Day the Crayons Came Home book companionThe Story of Fish and SnailThe Biggest Pumpkin Ever book companion

In closing, we hope you found this list of read alouds for students learning how to compromise helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

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