Picture Books about Integrity and Being Principled
Use these picture books about integrity in your classroom to discuss themes of being principled and knowing what is right and wrong. They show trustworthy characters showing fairness, listening to their conscience and reflecting on the effects of their actions.
Why Use Picture Books about Integrity?
According to the IB Learner Profile, being principled means being someone who will “act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. [They] take responsibility for [their actions and their consequences.”
Having integrity and being principled is hard, which is why children need opportunities to discuss the consequences of their actions (positive and negative) and the effect they have on others. There are many benefits to having a principled attitude, including:
- reducing risky behavior
- experiencing fewer errors in work projects
- experiencing less stress
- looking forward to making progress, personally and academically
- inspiring others
- being less likely to be affected by negative behavior
Picture Books about Integrity and Being Principled
These picture books about integrity show principled (or not) actions in context with illustrations. Some books show characters showing fairness and integrity. Others focus on characters listening to their conscience and reflecting on the effects of their actions. Other behavior includes:
- acting with integrity and honesty
- having a strong sense of fairness and justice
- respecting the dignity and rights of all people
- taking responsibility for actions and consequences
- showing gratitude and not taking things for granted
- showing patience and self-discipline
- embracing people’s differences
- considering the big picture when making decisions
You will also read about characters being unprincipled by:
Discussion Questions to Use With Picture Books about Integrity
- How would it feel to compromise your principles?
- Tell me how [character] showed integrity.
- How do you think it made [character] feel to stand up for their principles?
- Do you think it was difficult for [character] to be honest? Why?
- What was the effect of [character] actions?
- What words would you use to describe [character] actions? (true, liar, responsible, fair, trustworthy, reliable, principled, loyal, respectful, just)
- How could [character] be more principled?
- How did [character’s] principled behavior affect others in the story?
- How did [character’s] integrity impact the events of the story?
- Did [character] act fairly and honestly?
- Did [character] they follow the rules? If not, what were the consequences?
- How did [character] feel when things were going wrong?
- What did [character] do to improve the situation?
FREE Learner Profile Graphic Organizers
Would you like some FREE Learner Profile graphic organisers?
The resource includes a graphic organizer for each learner profile. Fill in the form below to get access to the FREE pack.
You can find the FULL Principled resource pack by clicking on the image.
If you already have access to the free resource library, you will find the freebie in the Learner Profile section.
Picture Books about Integrity
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but she won’t eat them because her friends hate them. A mystery illness causes her to turn into what others think she should be. No one can figure out what is wrong until Camilla realises she needs to just be herself not bow to peer pressure.
Change Sings: A Children's Anthem by Amanda Gorman
A young girl bands together with a group of children to influence change in their community. They realise they have the power to change the world for the better, big and small, with their words and actions and inspire others to do the same.
The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool
Emmeline Pankhurst by Lisbeth Kaiser
As a political activist, Emmeline Pankhurst dedicated her life to the fight for women’s equality. She organised the suffragette movement in the UK and was instrumental in women gaining the right to vote. The book includes a profile of Mrs. Pankhurst’s life accompanied by historical photos and a timeline.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Annabelle finds a box of colourful yarn which never runs out no matter how much she knits. When an evil archduke steals the yarn its magic no longer works. When the yarn finds its way back to Annabelle and the magic continues.
Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world by Zoë Tucker
Forest animals plea with Greta to save their home. Holding a ‘STOP’ sign, she faces the greedy giants who have plundered the environment. She is joined by others who hold the giants to account, prompting a positive change to the environment.
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! by Rob Biddulph
A Hen for Izzy Pippik by Aubrey Davis
Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson
Narrated by a child who joined the 1963 civil rights march in Birmingham, Alabama. Through their words, we see the harsh consequences for children protesting after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. Children were jailed and treated with disdain by many adults. Regardless, they took a stand and used their voice to change the world.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Lilly loves school, her teacher, and her purple plastic purse. When her teacher, Mr Slinger, confiscates the purse she plans her revenge. She draws a mean picture of Mr Slinger but soon feels remorse and sets out to make amends.
Love Is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Quiet Blue sometimes wishes he could be more sunny, bright or regal like his friends because bully Red picked on shy Blue. One unites all the colours and shows them how to stand up to Red and be counted.
Red by Jan De Kinder
At first, a girl finds it funny when another student is teased for blushing. Soon, she realises she must stand against the bully but is fearful. Through her compassion and integrity, she finds the courage to do what is right.
The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
In this Native American version of Cinderella, two sisters want to marry an invisible man, but they have to prove they can see him, which they can’t. It is their sister, a rough-faced girl, who can see him and marries him.
Use to discuss appreciation and that people shouldn’t be judged on their appearance.
The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts
Three Lines in a Circle: The Exciting Life of the Peace Symbol by Michael G. Long
A history of how the peace symbol became a powerful icon. Designed over 60 years ago in London by activist Gerald Holtom to protest against nuclear weapons. The book follows as people used the symbol in marches and peaceful protests around the world, including the end of apartheid, the falling of the Berlin Wall and Black Lives Matters.
Read to discuss activism, symbolism, social justice, and peace.
Under the Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine
In rural Mexico, Rosalinda wakes to find a Night Man has taken lemons from her much loved lemon tree. She discovers the man selling her lemons but realises he had a need to do this. With this new understanding, she gives away her lemons, including to the Night Man.
The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race by James Thorp
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
Audrey lived in Alabama during the Civil Rights movement. She saw first-hand the mistreatment and discrimination of people because of their skin color. Despite knowing the dangers, she marched to end segregation after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King talk. Audrey Faye Hendrick, at nine, was the youngest child arrested and placed in jail.
This powerful book about a young girl taking a stand will help children realize they too have a voice, no matter their age.
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Using these picture books about integrity will help your students identify principled behavior and see the consequences of such actions. Also, Learning to Give have a lesson plan on Living Integrity for grades 6, 7, and 8.
What books do you use in the classroom to promote integrity and a principled attitude? Add them to the comments!