“In order to be effective, SEL must be equitable. In other words, it must be supportive, affirming, and beneficial for students of all cultures, backgrounds, and identities.”

Wallace Foundation

Diverse books affirm the identities, strengths and experiences of all children and diverse texts inspire reflection, create connections, and illicit empathy for others. This helps create engaging, thoughtful, and enriching classroom communities. 

Each week we will explore inclusive books and lessons that align with specific competencies using the CASEL Five. This week we explore: SELF-MANAGEMENT

Recognizing emotions is an important part of self-awareness, a key component of social-emotional learning.  Self-management and regulating thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in different situations is an important skill. Below are books and a free activity to help students learn to understand and manage their feelings.

Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen by Beth Mills:
First grader Ella McKeen is the undisputed kickball queen until a new girl named Riya shows up—and shows her up at recess. How does Ella handle losing? By throwing herself on the grass and screaming while the rest of the class watches her fall apart. Yikes!

Niko Draws a Feeling written by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Simone Shin: Niko loves to draw his world, but no one appreciates his art. Until one day, Niko meets Iris . . .
This imaginative and tender story explores the creative process, abstract art, friendship, and the universal desire to feel understood.

Feelings Like Mine written by Marie-Therese Miller: Feelings can be happy or sad, big or small, easy or hard, and sometimes too complicated to put into words. Young readers will explore different kinds of feelings and the many ways to handle them.

Free Connection Activity:

This free activity is from Read for a Better World Student Action and Reflection Guide Grades 2-3:

Drive Social-Emotional Learning with Books from Lerner

Today’s educators are taking a closer look at the non-academic skills and competencies children need to have in order to facilitate learning and succeed in society. Browse all SEL books or explore books by category at

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