Stories About Sharing For the Classroom: The Power of Picture Books in Teaching

Do your students love to argue and debate about every little thing? Here are some stories about sharing that will help teach them the importance of compromising. They will read about characters who take the feelings of others into account, come up with fair solutions, and reach compromises. So, let’s dive in and explore how picture books can help foster a culture of sharing in your classroom!

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A group of children reading a book in a library.

Why Read Stories about Sharing and Compromising in the Classroom?

Sharing is one of the most essential values we impart to our students. Sharing is not only about distributing items equally but also a life skill that teaches empathy, cooperation, and fairness.

Learning to share and compromise helps children develop good relationships, and picture books about sharing illustrate the importance of harmonious interactions.

Stories about sharing present abstract concepts in a tangible, understandable way. Captivating illustrations foster emotional connections and make the lessons more memorable.

Despite its importance, teaching about sharing can be challenging. Children can be territorial, and sharing can sometimes cause anxiety or resistance. However, using picture books about sharing can ease this process.

A group of hands holding a bunch of colorful beads.

Questions to Pair With Stories About Sharing

Here are some questions you can ask your students when using picture books about sharing and compromising:

  • How did the main character share in the story?
  • Why did the character decide to share?
  • How did sharing make the character feel?
  • How did sharing affect the other characters?
  • Why is sharing important in our class?
  • Can you think of a time you shared something? How did it feel when you shared?
  • If you were in the story, what would you share?
  • What would you do in a situation where it’s hard to share?
  • Can you find examples of sharing in the illustrations?
  • What can happen if we don’t share?
  • Can you think of other ways to share apart from giving material things?
  • What did you learn about sharing from the book?
  • How can you apply the book’s lesson about sharing in your life?

Stories about Sharing and Compromising

Many stories are set in schools or include siblings working on compromising. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. The picture books also cover cooperation, fairness, sharing and reflection themes.

Are You Sitting Comfortably? by Leigh Hodgkinson

A young boy searches for the perfect place to read his book, but nothing is right. He gathers companions on his quest, realising reading can be enjoyed anywhere, as long as it’s with good company.

Are You Sitting Comfortably? promotes discussions on the joy of reading, the quest for comfort, the value of companionship, flexibility and adaptability.

The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World by Katie Smith Milway

Deo flees his home and ends up alone in the Lukole refugee camp in Tanzania. Tensions run high among the kids until a coach organises a football game with a ball made from banana leaves.

The Banana-Leaf Ball promotes discussions on resilience, the power of play, unity, overcoming adversity, finding common ground, and reducing isolation.

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

This is the first of three stories about sharing on this list by Mo Willems. Piggie finds a ball only for a ‘big guy’ (a whale) to take it. Gerald confronts the whale despite his apprehension due to its size. The whale thought the ball was unclaimed and happily shared it.

A Big Guy Took My Ball promotes discussions on sharing, misunderstandings, assumptions, apprehension, courage in the face of fear, and communication in preventing conflicts.

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Rubina’s mother insists she takes her younger sister, Sana, to a birthday party. Her sister’s behaviour embarrasses her, especially when Sana steals a big red lollipop, Rubina’s party favour.

Big Red Lollipop explores sharing, fairness, and forgiveness, how to resolve conflicts and how to get along, even when things don’t seem fair.

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

A cheerful red umbrella stands by the front door, ready to provide shelter. No matter how many people (or even a dog) come under it, the big umbrella can cover them all because “there is always room.”

The Big Umbrella inspires conversations on empathy, acceptance and the limitless nature of kindness and inclusivity.

Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming

In post-World War II Netherlands, Katje lives in a town devastated by the war. She receives an unexpected package filled with soap, socks, and chocolate from an American girl named Rosie. As more packages arrive, filled with much-needed supplies, Katje generously shares the contents with her neighbours.

Boxes for Katje explores generosity, sharing, compromise, and thankfulness and how acts of kindness, no matter how small, can significantly impact others.

Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems

This is the second of three stories about sharing on this list by Mo Willems. A snake wants to join Elephant and Piggie’s game of catch. As snakes don’t have arms, they work together through trial and error to find a way to include everyone in their game.

Can I Play Too? promotes discussions on inclusivity, cooperation and overcoming challenges through problem-solving.

Cheese Belongs to You! by Alexis Deacon

Rat Law is simple: if you find some cheese, it belongs to you unless a bigger rat wants it. Chaos ensues among the rats as they vie for possession of the cheese. They soon learn cooperation and sharing are more beneficial than continuous competition.

Cheese Belongs to You! explores the struggle for resources, power dynamics, cooperation over competition and understanding rules and their implications.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

When Farmer Brown’s cows stumble upon a typewriter, they start typing letters demanding electric blankets. Things escalate quickly as the cows strike, and Duck is the mediator. But the peace doesn’t last long when the ducks have their own demands!

Click, Clack, Moo story promotes dialogue about fair negotiations’ importance, communication’s power, and the essence of compromise.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

A box of crayons have decided to quit their jobs. Each crayon leaves a letter for Duncan, their owner, explaining their grievances and requests for improved working conditions.

The Day the Crayons Quit explores communication, perspective-taking, feelings, having a voice, and understanding and responding to the needs and wants of others.

Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi

Two boys who each draw their own lines accidentally bump into each other. They connect their lines and discover the magic of their union until a misstep causes their lines to cross, leading to a conflict.

Draw the Line, a wordless picture book, promotes discussions on conflict resolution, friendship, cooperation, compromise and creativity.