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10 Picture Books about Teamwork for Elementary Students – 2023

One of my favorite teaching strategies is using picture books to teach SEL skills. Picture books are powerful tools that make social emotional learning topics fun and meaningful. They are also very accessible. Even if you don’t have a robust collection of high quality children’s literature in your classroom library, you likely have access to books through your school library, public library, or on the internet. The best part is that students love listening to and discussing stories about relatable characters and storylines. They learn so much from them! In this post, I share my favorite picture books for teaching teamwork.

All of the picture books about teamwork on this list are part of my Starts With a Story collection. Little Blue Truck, Swimmy, Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea and Iggy Peck, Architect are also part of our teamwork SEL Unit, which includes interactive read aloud lesson plans among tons of other resources for teaching teamwork. Check out the list of picture books about teamwork below!

10 Picture Books about Teamwork

Below are 10 quality teamwork children’s books for elementary teachers. Your kids will love these read alouds! They are great for teaching teamwork, as well as many other concepts and skills.

1. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck had a horn that was one of the friendliest sounds you could hear and he honked at all the animals he would pass. When the Dump came driving along the road, he didn’t beep his horn hello to anyone. He thought he had too many important things to do! When these two vehicles get stuck, which one do you think the other animals come to save? This story reminds students about the importance of kindness, teamwork, and reciprocity in friendship. My Teamwork SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

Little Blue Truck book coverSwimmy book cover

2. Swimmy by Leo Lionni

One day, Swimmy comes across a group of fish that are hiding in the weeds to avoid being eaten by a big fish. Swimmy leads them in forming a great big fish by working together as a team. They are able to scare off the big fish when it comes to eat them! This story reminds readers of the power with numbers and importance of working together as a team to overcome challenges.  My Teamwork SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

3. Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris

Kamala and Maya had the great idea of turning the courtyard in their building into a playground. After all, it wasn’t being used and it would give the children a place to play. However, the landlord kept saying no. That is, until more people helped! The neighbors, children and landlord were all impressed with Kamala and Maya and what they were able to accomplish. This story shows that with teamwork, dreams can come true! There can be power in numbers, even when it just starts with 2 girls and an idea. My Teamwork SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

Kamala and Maya's Big Idea book coverIggy Peck Architect book cover and writing paper

4. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

When Iggy Peck goes to school, he becomes disappointed because his teacher says that talking about architecture and building structures is not allowed at school. However, he doesn’t let this squash his passion. When the class goes on a field trip, Iggy Peck and his class have to work together to build a bridge when they find themselves stuck on an island. This story shows the importance of working as a team as everyone has different strengths to contribute! My Teamwork SEL bundle includes an SEL lesson based on this picture book!

5. Change Sings by Amanda Gorman

The fifth on this list of picture books about teamwork is Change Sings. In this story, presidential inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman, shares that to make change, we all need to work together. Despite background, disabilities, culture, and income, when we come together, we are stronger. This heartwarming and impactful story will be sure to get students thinking about the power within ourselves and how, when we work together, we can make big changes. Check out these Change Sings activities!

Change SingsEraser activity

6. Eraser by Anna Kang

Everyone is jealous of Pencil- especially Eraser. Pencil and his friends are thought of as the cool and creative ones. One day, Eraser learns that she is the reason people get second chances because she helps people fix their mistakes. Together, Eraser and Pencil learn the importance of working together as a team. Students will make connections to their own lives as they watch Eraser and Pencil show teamwork. Check out these Eraser book activities!

7. Hansel and Gretel by James Marshall

Hansel and Gretel escape the treacherous woods, only to find a house made of candy! A terrible witch tramps them and plans to eat them. That is, until Hansel and Gretel work together to escape the wicked witch! Students will read about the siblings working together to solve problems and ultimately, save their own lives. Check out these Hansel and Gretel activities!

Hansel and Gretel book and activityThe Girl With the Big Big Questions book cover

8. The Girl with the Big, Big Questions by Britney Winn Lee

The spirit of curiosity and quest for knowledge feed the mind of the little girl in the story. She continuously asks questions, which originally seemed sweet to her friends and teachers. At the end of the story, she is able to drum up her classmates to help her plant a tree in their local park. This story reminds us about the importance of teamwork in our classrooms and communities. Check out these The Girl with the Big, Big Questions activities!

9. Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel

In a town, the garbage is left out and grows rotten and slimy. The town is smelly and the air is hazy. In fact, the water and sky looked brown! One day, the townspeople were visited by Michael Recycle! He explained that they must start recycling before the piles of trash reach the moon and giant bugs take over the town. This book is a great way to celebrate Earth Day and discuss the importance of taking care of the planet as a collective group. Through teamwork, we can make a difference! Check out these Michael Recycle activities!

Michael Recycle book coverTops and Bottoms book cover

10. Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Hare and Bear are neighbors that live on a farm. Hare asks Bear to be partners with him and explains they will split the profit of the crops down the middle. Bear just has to decide if he wants the tops or bottoms. This tale of trickery shows that to be a team, all members have to be honest and fair. After reading, students will see the results of not working together on the farm fairly with Bear and Hare. Check out these Tops and Bottoms activities!

Integrated SEL and Literacy Activities

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

SEL Unit

Our Teamwork 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!

Teamwork 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!

Little Blue TruckSwimmyKamala and Maya's Big IdeaIggy Peck ArchitectChange Sings
EraserHansel and GretelThe Girl with the Big Big QuestionsMichael RecycleTops and Bottoms

We hope you found this list of picture books about teamwork helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts:

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