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Why Balance is Important: Using Picture Books to Teach Harmony in the Classroom

Welcome to a post about why balance is important for your students. Maintaining equilibrium is crucial in a world that constantly pulls children in different directions. Picture books about balance provide a compelling way to introduce these essential life skills. In the classroom, they offer an avenue to discuss and understand balance in its various forms—emotional, mental, and physical.

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Why Balance is Important for Your Students?

Teaching children about being well-balanced and harmonious is fundamental to holistic development. Picture books serve as a way to understand abstract concepts in a tangible, relatable way.

Being well-balanced and harmonious involves maintaining equilibrium in all aspects of life, including emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

In the classroom, it translates to creating a learning environment that encourages active participation and fosters mutual respect.

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Benefits of Using Picture Books about Balance and Harmony

Homework, social media, junk food and extracurricular activities can negatively affect children. Strong mental health is why balance is important to everyone, not just your students.

Picture books about balance will help your students understand the benefits of life balance, including reducing stress and improving mental health and overall well-being.

Picture books offer a visual and engaging way to convey complex ideas, such as why balance is essential. They allow children to see characters navigating life’s challenges, creating an opportunity for teachers to discuss balance and harmony.

Character Traits in Picture Books about Balance

These picture books illustrate why balance is important and encourage children to think about and discuss their personal, physical, mental and emotional well-being. You will see characters who:

  • Handle conflicts with calmness
  • Make fair and considerate decisions
  • Prioritise time effectively between work and play
  • Take care of themselves and eat healthily
  • Are organise
  • Set and achieve goals
  • Have a positive mindset
  • Enjoy learning
  • Listen to different points of view
  • Develop positive relationships

 

Contrasting characters who exhibit balance with those who do not can further emphasise the value of these traits. These characters demonstrate why balance is important in the classroom as they may:

  • use too much technology or screen time
  • not get enough sleep or exercise
  • do unenjoyable activities
  • have no time to relax or enough free time
  • have no quality time with family and friends
 
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Questions to Pair with Picture Books about Balance and Harmony

  • How does the main character display balance in their life?
  • How does the book show why balance is important in our lives?
  • What consequences did [character] face when they lacked balance and harmony?
  • How did the character’s relationships change when they became more balanced?
  • What strategies did the characters use to create a balanced routine?
  • How did harmony, or lack of it, affect the characters’ happiness?
  • Find an example of a character prioritising tasks effectively to maintain balance.
  • How did balance impact the character’s ability to handle stressful situations?
  • How could you introduce balance and harmony in your own life?
  • What changes would you suggest for [character] to live a more balanced life?
  • What does it mean to be balanced?
  • Describe how the character leads a balanced life.
  • How does being balanced affect the character’s quality of life?
  • What were the consequences to the character because of a lack of balance?

Picture Books That Show Why Balance is Important

Here are some books that beautifully illustrate the concept of balance and harmony.

A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon

Camilla Cream loves lima beans but won’t eat them because her friends hate them. A mysterious illness causes her to become what others think she should be. Only when she embraces her true self does she recover.

A Bad Case of the Stripes serves as a reminder that individuality should be celebrated and that personal growth stems from self-acceptance and the courage to resist societal pressures.

The Beckoning Cat by Koko Nishizuka

In Japan, the Beckoning Cat is believed to bring good luck. When a boy displays kindness to a stray cat, the feline aids the boy’s family business by attracting customers, which helps in caring for his sick father. 

The Beckoning Cat explores harmony, appreciation, gratitude, the impact of kindness and its potential to bring about positive changes.

Big Rabbit's Bad Mood by Ramona Badescu

Big Rabbit is in a bad mood that follows him around, ruining his day. He tries to shake off the bad mood, but nothing seems to work until the rabbit realises confronting his feelings helps dispel his bad mood.

Big Rabbit’s Bad Mood inspires discussions on emotional awareness, coping with difficult feelings, friendship, and problem-solving.

Blackout by John Rocco

The power unexpectedly goes out a family seek relief from the heat on their rooftop. making the most of this rest bite from technology. When the power returns, life gradually returns to normal, but the experience leaves a lasting impact.

Blackout explores a sense of community, nurturing an appreciation for the simple things and finding a balance between technology and human connection.

Burger Boy by Alan Durant

Despite his mother’s warnings that he might turn into a burger one day, Benny continues his burger-only diet. When her warning comes true, his mother makes him eat vegetables, which becomes his new obsession.

Burger Boy inspires discussions on consequences, balance, healthy eating habits and coping with change.

The Busy Beaver by Nicholas Oldland

A beaver who rarely thinks things through leaves a trail of destruction in the forest, impacting the environment and its inhabitants. After a mishap leads to his injury, the beaver learns the importance of thoughtful actions and caring for others and the environment.

The Busy Beaver promotes discussions on responsible decision-making, consequences of actions, environmental care, and personal growth.

The Couch Potato by Jory John

This is the first of two picture books about balance by John Jory. Living his dream life, the Couch Potato has everything he needs within reach. When the electricity goes out, he is forced to leave the comfort of his home and venture outside, which he realises is just what he needs.

The Couch Potato promotes mindfulness, the balance between screen time and playtime and adaptability to changing situations.

Don't Let The Peas Touch by Deborah Blumenthal

Sophie refuses to eat her peas because they are touching other foods. Her sister Annie solves the problem with a plate that separates her food.

Don’t Let The Peas Touch promotes discussions on sibling relationships, conflict resolution, respect for individual differences, self-management, problem-solving and communication.

Fergal is Fuming by Robert Starling

Fergal wants to make friends, but his fiery temper causes problems. His mother advises him to find ways to cool down when upset. He learns to manage his anger and realises he can react differently to frustrating situations.

Fergal is Fuming promotes discussions on managing emotions, balance, self-control, understanding consequences, and empathy.