26 of the Best Picture Books about Integrity and Principles
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 demonstrating fairness, listening to their conscience and reflecting on the effects of their actions.
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Being Principled in the Classroom
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.”
Explaining what it means to have integrity and being principled is difficult as it an abstract concept for most children. I find it is best to correlate it to honesty and fairness, words children will be familiar with. Children are not born with integrity, it is reinforced by people in their life, including at school. Adults who are principled and fair will influence children in their care.
In a previous post, Classroom Resources for Teaching Integrity and a Principled Attitude, I put together picture books, videos and online resources to use to promote the IB principled trait.
Books about Integrity and Being Principled
A way to promote being principled is to talk about ‘doing the right thing’. These picture books about integrity show principled (or not) actions in context with the illustrations. They show clear conclusions and consequences becasue of those actions. You will see characters who are:
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
A Hen for Izzy Pippik by Aubrey Davis
A Child’s Garden by Michael Foreman
Abdullah's Butterfly by Janine Fraser
The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! by Rob Biddulph
Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Marvelous Mattie by Emily Arnold McCully
Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
Under the Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine
We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race by James Thorp
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema
Principled Discussion Questions
- 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 behaviour 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?
Using these picture books about integrity help students identify principled behaviour and see the consequences of such actions. They also promote being trustworthy, open-minded and showing impartiality.
What books do you use to promote the IB principled trait in your classroom? Add them to the comments!
Remember to check out Classroom Resources for Teaching Integrity and a Principled Attitude. For more information and classroom resources to promote a principled attitude in your classroom.