30 Books about Cooperation and Relationship Skills
Teaching relationship skills gives your students’ crucial skills and strategies they will use throughout their life. These books are a significant way to show them positive relationship skills in action.
Healthy relationship skills are the ability to get along with others and make meaningful connections with people we will come into contact with. This is difficult and takes time. As teachers, we need to give our students the time and opportunity to develop and practice relationship skills and to be there when they struggle.
There are many important reasons for promoting relationship skills in your classroom. Some key benefits include:
- Improved self-esteem and self-confidence
- Confidence to ask and offer help
- Learning ways to make, keep and deal with friendships
- Increased positive interactions in the classroom
- Reduced conflicts and the ability to resolve issues
- Improved interaction with adults and peers
- Increased positive mood and behaviour
- Learning strategies to cope in tough situations
In another post, Resources for Teaching Social Skills in the Classroom, I have put together relationship skills books with resources, short videos and online resources.
Picture Books about Cooperation and Relationship Skills
Within this diverse collection of relationship skills books, you will find characters who:
- Establish and maintain positive and diverse relationships
- Communicate with and listen attentively to others
- Recognise inappropriate peer pressure and remove themselves from negative situations
- Cooperate with others, including those who are not friends
- Constructively negotiate and resolve conflict
- Seek and offer help when needed
- Understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships
Of course, you will find characters working towards these positive relationship skills! After the list, there is a list of reading questions to use during a read-aloud session.
I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon
Lost and Found Cat by Doug Kuntz
Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival
The Raft by Jim LaMarche
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler
The Silence Seeker by Ben Morley
The Visitor by Antje Damm
We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
Relationship Skills Discussion Questions
- What characteristics did [character] have that made them a good friend?
- What characteristics was [character] looking for in a friend?
- Why was it important that [character] cooperated with [character]? Do you think [character] could accomplish their task by themselves?
- What was the relationship between [character] and [character]?
- How was [character] able to put aside their feelings towards [character] to work together? Why is it sometimes hard to cooperate??
- In what ways did [character] depend on others?
- How can positive relationships with others help us overcome difficult situations?
- What characteristics make up a good/healthy/positive relationship?
- What are the benefits of a good/healthy/positive relationship?
- How can your actions affect a relationship with others?
- How does (honesty, communication, empathy, etc) affect relationships with others?
Teaching relationship skills take time, but it is worth it. The benefits above highlight the importance of children having the ability to get along with others and make meaningful connections.
You can find a round-up of relationship skills information and videos in the post Resources for Teaching Social Skills in the Classroom. Let me know how you support your student’s relationship skills in the comments below.
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