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Sunday 10 May 2020

SEL Sunday Reads: Anxiety, Worry and Stress Management in picture books

Anxiety, Worry & Stress Management in Picture Books

Picture Books are fantastic learning tools for all ages. While primary is where we see the most picture books and read alouds, there is power in using these types of books at all grade levels – yes even secondary! My middle schoolers always loved picture books and inferring and connecting through stories.

Here are a few recommendations for Social Emotional Learning Picture Books, specifically around the topic of managing stress and anxiety Some of these books were suggested to me from teachers taking an SEL education course. Enjoy

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The Pigeon has to go to school – by Mo Willems

This book is about a pigeon who is about to start school and has worried himself sick with anxiety. His constant “what if?” fill his mind and the journey takes him to a place of realization. School is a safe place. The book shows how we can overthink things that don’t need to be stresses.


The Invisible String – by Patrice Karst
This story is about children who learn they are always connected by love, even when they are far apart. The invisible strong connects your heart to loved ones across the distance and even when apart. This is a great story for school start up with young ones.


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From Far Away – by Robert Munsch

Seven-year old Saoussan and her family immigrate to Canada from Lebanon because of the war and danger they are experiencing in their native land. She attends a school in Toronto and has a very difficult time adjusting because of her language barrier and her unfamiliarity with Canadian customs and people. It goes on to tell how she becomes successful and excels in reading and writing with the emotional support of her classmates.  It is a story that teaches children about diversity and empathy for others. It would be particularly relevant for classrooms that have immigrant and/or refugee children. It teaches us about diversity and perseverance.

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In My Heart: A book of Feelings – by Jo Witek
This picture book follow the main character through different ways her heart can feel –happy, brave, angry, calm, broken, sad, hopeful and more.

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When Sophie gets Angry – really, really angry… - by Molly Bang
Youtube Link:

This story is great for students who struggle to cope with their anger. Sophie gets very angry with her sister, snatches her toy away and it escalates from there. She finds her calm again but the story shows strategies to avoid and to calm.

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