8 Picture Books about Conflict Resolution for Elementary Teachers in 2024

Reading aloud children’s books to your elementary students is a great way to introduce and teach conflict resolution. 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 conflict resolution. Those Pesky Rabbits, The Sandwich Swap, The Squirrels Who Squabbled and The Recess Queen are part of our conflict resolution SEL Unit, which includes interactive read aloud lesson plans among tons of other resources for teaching conflict resolution. Learn all about these picture books about conflict resolution below and how you can use them to teach conflict resolution!

conflict resolution read alouds

8 Conflict Resolution Books

Below are 8 quality conflict resolution children’s picture books for elementary teachers. Your kids will love these read alouds! They are great for teaching conflict resolution, as well as many other concepts and skills.

1. Those Pesky Rabbits by Ciara Flood

One day, a family of rabbits moves right next to Bear’s. This makes Bear very angry. Even worse? They keep bothering him! Furious, Bear tells the rabbits he just wants to be left alone. One day, Bear hears a soft knock at the door and finds a note and basket from the rabbits. After receiving the basket, Bear realizes he has been feeling lonely and decides to visit the rabbits. In the end, Bear realizes that he enjoys spending time with his new neighbors. This heartwarming story reminds us to pause, reflect, and identify our problems. My Conflict Resolution SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

Those Pesky Rabbits book cover The Sandwich Swap activities

2. The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio

One day Lily decides to tell Salma that her sandwich is gross. Then Salma tells Lily that she thinks her sandwich is gross too. This causes a huge conflict for the girls, and soon the other students join in on the conflict. A huge food fight erupts and the girls realize they need to resolve their conflict. Students will learn about friendships, solving conflict, and respecting each other as they hear about the problems the sandwiches started. My Conflict Resolution SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

3. The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright

Cyril the squirrel wakes up and realizes winter is coming and he hasn’t stored away any food. He sees one pinecone left and decides it has to be his. Bruce also sees the pinecone and even though he is prepared for winter and has plenty of food, he decides that he needs the pinecone, too. The two squirrels fight over the pinecone. Throughout the story, Cyril and Bruce learn the importance of teamwork, sharing, and solving conflict to benefit each of them. My Conflict Resolution SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

The Squirrels Who Squabbled book cover vocabulary booklet for The Recess Queen

4. The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

Jean is the Queen of Recess at her school. She is always the one to go first when playing games and will growl at anyone who crosses her. One day, a new student, Katie Sue, joins Jean’s class. Not knowing the rules, Katie Sue kicks, bounces and jumps before Jean. When Jean confronts Katie, she is surprised to find that Katie Sue talks back! This story will teach children the importance of identifying feelings, problems, and finding ways to make solutions between friends. My Conflict Resolution SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

5.  A Piglet Named Mercy by Kate DiCamillo

Mr. and Mrs. Watson lived ordinary lives in their ordinary town. They cut the grass, wash their car, and vacuum the house. One day, Mrs. Watson onced asked if their lives were a little too predictable. That night, a piglet came rolling off a truck and landed at the Watson house. Throughout the story, neighbor Eugenia Lincoln had many negative thoughts about the piglet. She shared that pigs were too unexpected, and the name Mercy was ridiculous. Eugenia also said that it was absurd to feed the piglet. However, Mr. and Mrs. Watson did not let this affect them. They still loved their new family member. The Watsons were able to stand up for their family and resolve the conflict with their neighbor. Check out these A Piglet Named Mercy activities!

A Piglet Named Mercy book cover Hug It Out activity

6. Hug it Out by Louis Thomas

Woody and Annie are siblings and they keep arguing! Their mother has finally had it and tells them that from now on whenever they argue, they have to hug it out. After taking space from each other, they realize how important the other is in their lives. This story shows a conflict resolution strategy of giving space when feeling frustrated, which is an idea that many students can connect with. Check out these Hug It Out activities!

7. Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce is a grumpy bear and a picky eater, so he does NOT like anything except eggs. One day, as he is trying out a new recipe, his breakfast suddenly hatches. Bruce becomes the victim of mistaken identity. This story lends itself to teaching about conflict resolution as Bruce must figure out what to do with the tiny goslings that call him “Mama”. Check out these Mother Bruce activities!

Mother Bruce book cover Greta and the Giants book cover

8. Greta and the Giants by Zoe Tucker

The animals came to Greta asking for help- the Giants were destroying the forest! One day, Greta began picketing for the Giants to stop. Then, more and more children joined in. Eventually, they spoke to the Giants about the effect of their actions on the forest. The Giants began helping to fix the forest, interacting with more hobbies, and helping in their community. This story reminds readers of ways we can peacefully resolve problems with others. Check out these Greta and the Giants activities!

Integrated SEL and Literacy Activities

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

SEL Unit

Our Conflict Resolution 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. Click an image below to either get this individual conflict resolution unit or get ALL 30 SEL units!

Conflict Resolution SEL Unit Social Emotional Learning Units Bundle
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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!

Those Pesky Rabbits The Sandwich Swap The Squirrels Who Squabbled The Recess Queen book companion
A Piglet Named Mercy Hug It Out book companion Mother Bruce Greta and The Giants

In closing, we hope you found this list of conflict resolution picture books helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

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