Picture Books about Social Awareness and Perspective-Taking

27 of the Best Picture Books about Social Awareness

Using social awareness related books reinforces the importance of positive and diverse relationships with empathy, reflection, perspective, an open-mind and respect.

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Social Awareness

Social awareness helps children cope in new situations and increases their emotional wellbeing. It helps them recognise how their emotions and behaviour influence their interactions. They also use empathy to recognise the mood of others and consider different points of view to build positive and diverse relationships.

Benefits of social awareness include increased:

  • self-reflection of actions and goals
  • empathy through perspective-taking
  • self-management
  • responsibility of personal actions and consequences
  • self-esteem and self-confidence
  • academic and recreational achievements
  • use of strategies to avoid or negotiate negative situations or behaviour.

In another post, Social Awareness Activities and Resources for the Classroom, I have put together books with resources, short videos and online resources.

Social Awareness Books

Picture books illustrate different perspectives in varied situations. This collection of socially aware books features examples of how characters deal with dilemmas in empathic ways and focus on respecting and considering the perspectives of others. In these picture books you will find characters who demonstrate social awareness characteristics by:

  • Showing respect for others
  • Maintaining relationships by using appropriate strategies to deal with conflicts
  • Taking on board and empathising with the perspectives of others from diverse backgrounds
  • Understanding the perspectives of others will influence social interactions
  • Reading social situations to recognise the emotions of others
  • Understanding how their mood and behaviour affects social interactions
  • Using appropriate and different strategies to deal with unexpected situations
  • Thriving within a community, experiencing acceptance, and support.

Social Awareness Discussion Questions

  • When [character] had difficulties how did they overcome this? What did they learn to help themselves?
  • [Character] did not handle the problem very well. What could they have done better?
  • [Character] went through a lot of change in the book. How well did they adapt to these changes? Could they have done anything differently?
  • Do you think [character] usually takes on board the perspectives of others? Why/why not?
  • Why was it important that [character] listened to those around them before taking action?
  • Why was it important that {character] reflected on their actions?
  • How would the story have changed if [character] had/had not controlled their emotions?
  • Was [character] willing to change their mind as the events progressed
  • How would it have helped [character] if s/he was more open-minded
  • Why was it important that [character] was open-minded?
  • Did [character] think about how their actions affected other characters?
  • Could [character] have understood the feelings of [character] more sympathically? How
  • How could [character & character] have dealt with their differences in a better way?
  • Could [character] have used different strategies to deal with their situation?
  • Did [character] take on board the opinions of others? Would it have made a difference?
  • How would showing empathy have helped [character]?

What Next?

If, as teachers, we model thoughtful behaviour we inspire out students to be more coally aware. Encouraging them to recognise the emotions of themselves and others supports an understanding of how actions affect relationships.. 

You can find a round-up of social awareness information and videos in the post Social Awareness Activities and Resources for the Classroom. Let me know how you support your student’s decision-making skills in the comments below.

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