At the start of the year, our Social Studies unit revolves around teaching students to be good citizens. I don't technically teach Social Studies, but this fits in perfectly with all of the back to school themed books that everyone is using during the first days of school anyway.
This is one of my favorite books...that I actually forgot to even use with my students this year! I'll remember next year, because while I was on Amazon looking for images, I noticed the author has created a second book as a follow up to the first.
The book is called "Only One You" by Linda Kranz. I actually learned of it at a workshop many years ago when the presenter read it aloud. I don't have a clue what the training was about, but at least I got something out of it! The book is basically about two parents giving advice to their son as he enters the world. The "characters" are fish and the illustrations are beautiful. The images look like painted rocks or pebbles and every one of them is unique, which goes along with the title.
Some of the language might be a little "deep" for younger kids, but I have used it with first graders and they were able to get the message just fine with some guidance and paraphrasing. The book offers advice such as be your own person, appreciate the beauty around you, make new friends, and stand out when you can.
In the past, I have given my students each an oval shape and let them decorate their own fish, just like the ones in the book to emphasize that we are all different.
It would also make a great gift for an adult, maybe for graduation or something. It is a smaller hardcover book - not as large as the picture books we normally have, but definitely large enough to read aloud.
The second book, which is going in my Amazon cart right away, is called "You Be You." It has the same pretty illustrations and looks to emphasize the theme that we are all different. The language looks to be catered to younger children as well.
First Grade and Fantabulous is holding a linky party for picture books used during the first week of school.
Here are a few more books that I like to use at the start of the school year along the same theme:
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