Empathy, Gratitude, & Courage

“We’re All Wonders” by R. J. Palacio

In this lesson, Ms. Shaw reads the picture book version of the bestseller, “Wonder,” by R. J. Palacio. “We’re All Wonders” is a beautiful story about empathy, acceptance, and kindness. Ms. Shaw focuses on empathy and discusses what it means and ways we can show empathy for others. This lesson also includes an “Everybody Needs Empathy” coloring sheet to download as well as a relaxation technique using a calm down glitter jar to practice taking slow and deep breaths.

“How Full Is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer

Kitty is back to talk to students all about being a “Bucket Filler”! In this lesson, we learn that each of us has an invisible bucket. Throughout each day, every interaction we have either fills or empties our bucket. And when we do something to fill someone else’s bucket, our’s even gets filled, too! Ms. Shaw and Kitty talk about ways we can be “Bucket Fillers” by filling the buckets of our friends, families, teachers, and others. This lesson also includes a “mindful moment” technique on kindness.

“Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller

“Be Kind”—our school theme and something that is more important than ever! In this lesson, Ms. Shaw reads a wonderful book that teaches children the power of kindness. Ms. Shaw also shares some ideas for ways students can spread kindness right now, including this kindness calendar. This lesson also includes a breathing strategy and “mindful moment” technique to practice greeting people with kindness.

“I Am Love” by Susan Verde

“And with love we will weather the storm and light up the sky together.”

That’s how the story, “I am Love,” ends and that’s what Ms. Shaw challenges students to do in this lesson! Ms. Shaw talks about and shows two simple activities students can do at home to spread love in their families, neighborhoods, communities, and to the entire world. 🙂


“I Am Enough” by Grace Byers

You are enough! Just as you are. Some days you might lose a race, make a mistake, feel mad, sad, or nervous, but no matter what, you are enough. That is the message that Ms. Shaw emphasizes in this lesson. This lesson also includes a “mindful moment” technique to practice noticing how happiness and peace come from within.

“Learning with Ernie: Diversity” by Jennifer Robinson

“One isn’t right, one isn’t wrong. We must accept our difference to all get along.”

That’s an excerpt from this wonderful story that uses a rescue dog to teach children important messages of acceptance and love. Ms. Shaw and her dog, Tino (who happens to be the same type of dog as the one in the story!) talk about differences in how people can look and that no matter how someone looks they are worthy of acceptance and love. This lesson also includes a “mindful moment” technique to practice spreading love, kindness, and peace to everyone, starting with ourselves.


“All My Treasures: A Book of Joy” by Jo Witek

In this lesson, Ms. Shaw talks about joy–where joy comes from and where it lives. Through the story, “All My Treasures,” students learn that the things that bring us joy in life are, in fact, not actually things! Memories, feelings, experiences, and special people bring us joy and all of our joy lives safely in our hearts. Ms. Shaw challenges students to consider what really brings them joy and shares a few things that bring her joy. This lesson ends with a relaxing “mindful moment” technique to practice finding peace.

“Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun: Having the Courage to be Who You are” by Maria Dismondy

In this lesson, Tino wears a taco costume and Ms. Shaw talks about having the courage to be who you are! 😉 Sometimes we worry about what others will think about us, but this lesson teaches children to own what makes them unique. Ms. Shaw challenges students to think about what makes them unique on the inside and outside with a simple activity, which you can download here. This lesson also includes a fun and helpful breathing strategy called “hot cocoa breaths”.

“A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon

Ms. Shaw reads a classic story that illustrates the importance of being true to yourself, regardless of what others think. This lesson also includes an expressive arts activity to showcase all the things that make you unique, which you can download here, as well as a “mindful moment” technique to practice setting daily intentions.