Classroom Resources for Teaching about Forgiveness
Discover picture books and resources for teaching about forgiveness in your classroom. They focus on the importance of learning to forgive, asking for forgiveness, avoiding grudges and seeing forgiveness as a positive action.
Teaching about Forgiveness
This quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. highlights the importance of forgiveness and how it benefits our lives and those around us.
Learning to forgive and asking for forgiveness helps children form healthy relationships with family, friends and themselves. It helps them let go of grudges and see forgiveness positively. There are other benefits to forgiveness, including
- Healthier relationships
- Improved mental health
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Improved self-esteem
Forgiveness is given freely and with courage, it is not a sign of weakness. Teaching about forgiveness through the following resources will give your students the skills to negotiate more complex situations through their life.
Help your students see that forgiving helps people move on from hurtful comments and actions, though it doesn’t excuse that behaviour.
Asking for forgiveness is difficult as children don’t want to admit negative behaviour or actions. They need to see forgiveness in action to understand its power, making adult modelling and support important.
Resources for Teaching Forgiveness
What follows are resources for teaching about forgiveness in your classroom. There are books, short videos, online resources and forgiveness reading related questions.
Forgiveness Picture Books
This selection of books relate to forgiveness and saying sorry. You can click on the book cover for a synopsis and related online resources.
Forgiveness Discussion Starters
- What is forgiveness?
- Why do we forgive?
- In what way did [character] forgive [character]?
- Why did [character] find it difficult to forgive?
- When [character] forgave [character] were they condoning their behaviour/actions?
- Why was it important that [character] showed forgiveness?
- How did [character] feel after forgiving [character]?
- How did [character] feel when they wanted to be forgiven?
- What are the benefits of forgiving?
Forgiveness Resources Online
- Greater Good Magazine: Why Kids Need to Learn How to Forgive
- Huff Post: 5 Ways Parents Can Teach Their Kids To Forgive
- International Forgiveness Institute: Why We Should Introduce Kids to the Idea of Forgiveness
- Joy in the Home: Teaching Children to Forgive
- Kids Peace Station Hiroshima: Stories and information about the atomic bombing in Hiroshima
- Parent Toolkit: Second Chances – Teaching Children About Forgiveness
- Psych Central: How to Teach a Child Forgiveness
- Psychology Today: Forgiveness: Are you really teaching your kids how to forgive?
- Assemblies UK: Forgiveness Assemblies for primary school
- Brilliant Star: Forgiveness: A Virtue-Building Lesson Plan
- Kids and Values: Truth and Trust Activities
- Montessori for Everyone: 10 Ways to Promote Peace in Your Classroom
- Northern Ireland Curriculum: Living, Learning Together Lesson Ideas
- Scholastic: Group Time: Building Language Through Conflict Resolution
- Scholastic: Ages & Stages: Learning to Resolve Conflicts
- Seal Community: Forgiveness downloadable resources
- Smart Classroom Management: Why Forgiveness Is A Powerful Classroom Management Strategy
- TeachHub: Classroom Activities that Teach Forgiveness
- TES: Forgiveness Lesson Plan
Forgiveness Discussion Videos
These short videos can be used as discussion starters for talking about forgiveness. Watch the video before playing them to your students. Some of them are simple while others are more complex or abstract.
Teaching forgiveness takes time and support. These picture books and resources will help you start meaningful discussions. What are your favourite forgiveness related resources or books?
Remember to check out 25 Picture Books about Forgiveness and Letting Go for a longer list of forgiveness related picture books.
- 25 Picture Books about Forgiveness and Letting Go
- Discover the Benefits of Picture Books for Older Readers
- How to Use Picture Books to Teach Cause and Effect
- Resource Hub for the IB Learner Profile Traits
- 7 Reasons Why Wordless Picture Books are so Powerful
- Resources for Teaching Reflection Strategies in the Classroom
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