“We’re All Wonders” by R. J. Palacio
In this read aloud, 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 read aloud 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.
“All My Treasures: A Book of Joy” by Jo Witek
In this read aloud, 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 read aloud ends with a relaxing “mindful moment” technique to practice finding peace.
“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 read aloud. This read aloud 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 read aloud also includes a “mindful moment” technique to practice spreading love, kindness, and peace to everyone, starting with ourselves.
“Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun” by Maria Dismondy
In this read aloud, 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 read aloud 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 read aloud 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 read aloud 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.
“The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do” by Ashley Spires
Having a growth mindset is an incredibly important lifelong trait. In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw talks about what a growth mindset is by showing a model of a human brain and talking about how we are not automatically born knowing how to do everything. Instead, with patience and plenty of practice, our powerful brains help us learn how to do just about anything we set our minds to! Ms. Shaw challenges students to think of things they can’t do yet, but would like to learn or get better at. This read aloud also includes a “mindful moment” technique that emphasizes that we are always learning and growing and how that is great!
“Trying Again” by Emily Arrow
In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw is joined by special guest, Kitty, to talk about perseverance. When we run into a challenge and think, “I can’t do it,” we need to add the simple word, “yet” (e.g., “I can’t do it YET”) and try again. Ms. Shaw reads a story with a song all about trying again and remembering to think “yet” (listen to the song here). This read aloud also includes an “I Can’t Do It Yet” coloring sheet to download and a “mindful moment” technique to practice using kind words with ourselves when we’re working through a challenge.
“The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes” by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw talks about the importance of trying things and making mistakes along the way. Mistakes show that we’re human and learning—we’re not born knowing how to do everything after all! Ms. Shaw also talks about how it’s okay if we feel worried about making mistakes and reads a story about a girl who was afraid of making mistakes until one day she learned an important lesson. This read aloud also includes a “Mistakes Help Me Learn” coloring sheet to download and a “mindful moment” technique that we can use when we’re worried about making a mistake.
“Beautiful Oops” by Barney Saltzberg
Mistakes can be beautiful! In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw talks about the opportunity mistakes create when we use our imagination and creativity. Ms. Shaw reads the book “Beautiful Oops,” which uses many entertaining examples to illustrate how any old mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful and unique. This read aloud also includes a simple art project that helps students practice being creative and flexible, as well as a “mindful moment” to further exercise their imagination.
“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 read aloud, 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 read aloud also includes a “mindful moment” technique on kindness.
“Happy Right Now” by Julie Berry
It was cloudy and rainy when Ms. Shaw and her dog, Tino, woke up this morning. They were both feeling sad and disappointed that they couldn’t go on a long walk… That is until they realized that they have the power to choose to be happy! Ms. Shaw and Tino decide to have a dance party to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Ms. Shaw also reads the book, “Happy Right Now,” which teaches children how to be happy in the moment and embrace things as they are. This read aloud also includes a breathing strategy and “mindful moment” technique on “planting seeds of happiness”.
“I Think, I Am” by Manuela Schwarz
In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw talks about the power of positive affirmations. Ms. Shaw teaches students how the things we think and say have the power to make a big difference in our lives. When we change our negative thoughts (e.g., “Nobody likes me”) to positive affirmations (e.g, “I love myself and other people love me, too!”), then positive things start to happen in our lives and we feel happier! Ms. Shaw reads the book, “I Think, I Am,” which provides lots of examples and practice with changing negative thoughts to positive affirmations.
“Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller
“Be Kind”—our school theme this year and something that is more important than ever! In this read aloud, 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 read aloud also includes a breathing strategy and “mindful moment” technique to practice greeting people with kindness.
“I Am Yoga” by Susan Verde
In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw reads a short story about the magic of yoga! Yoga can be fun and imaginative. It helps us focus and get to calm. Yoga can even help us to feel happy and safe in our bodies. Ms. Shaw also teaches six playful yoga poses and models a “mindful moment” technique to help practice slow, controlled breathing.
“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 video! 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. 🙂
“Breathing Makes It Better” by Christopher Willard and Wendy O’Leary
In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw talks all about a very important self-regulation skill: breathing! Breathing helps us slow down and pay attention to the present moment, so we can understand how we’re feeling. The story, “Breathing Makes It Better,” teaches children to breathe through their feelings and find calm with recurring cues to “stop and take a breath”. This read aloud also includes a “mindful moment” technique and teaches three simple breathing strategies students can do at home.
“The Don’t Worry Book” by Todd Parr
In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw is joined again by special guest, Kitty! Kitty and Ms. Shaw talk about worry. With all of the recent and significant changes to children’s lives, as well as the bits and pieces of news they hear about COVID-19, it is normal for children to express worry and fear. Ms. Shaw teaches Kitty some strategies that can make us feel better when we’re worried. They also show a simple craft called a “worry bracelet” that has different color beads representing strategies we can do to feel better. The read aloud ends with a relaxing “mindful moment” to use when worried.
“Listening to My Body” by Gabi Garcia
Our bodies give us so many messages! They tell us when we’re hungry, thirsty, cold, and tired. They even tell us how we’re feeling. It’s important to practice paying attention to our bodies so we know what we need. The more we practice listening to our bodies, the better we get at responding with care and kindness to ourselves! In this read aloud, students practice identifying different bodily sensations and feelings by learning to pay attention to their heartbeat, breath, and more. The read aloud also includes a “mindful moment” technique to practice sitting still and listening, as well a craft to make a calm down jar (directions here).
“How Are You Peeling?” by Saxton Freymann
In this silly and lighthearted read aloud, Ms. Shaw is joined by a special guest, Kitty! Kitty and Ms. Shaw talk about feelings by reading the book “How Are You Peeling?” They discuss body clues that let us know how someone else is feeling and practice a breathing technique to use to help us feel better when we’re having a bad day.
“In My Heart: A Book of Feelings” by Jo Witek
Our hearts can feel so many different feelings! Some make us happy or silly, while others make us sad, worried, or out of control. In this read aloud, Ms. Shaw teaches us that all feelings are okay (even the ones that don’t feel so good) and will come and go. This read aloud also includes a simple art activity and models a “mindful moment” technique to use when we’re feeling sad or upset.
“The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst
Not being able to see the people we love right now can make us feel sad and lonely. Ms. Shaw reads a book called “The Invisible String” that teaches us that even though we aren’t together in person, we are always connected through our hearts by an invisible string.