Back to school is around the corner! I am joining my friend Kimberly over at Funky First Grade Fun in a linky party to list my top five books to read to kids when the goal is building a community.

It really is important to make the time to organize games and activities for your students that encourage them to get to know each other and to work together as a team. There are lessons upon lessons that we need to get to as teachers but you will complete those lessons that much faster with a class that understands the rules and what the expectations are!

I was flattered to have two of my books on Kimberly’s list of books that build community 🙂 If you would like to order autographed copies of my books, you can do so on my website!

1. The Dot by: Peter Reynolds

This book teaches children to encourage each other so they have the confidence to try something new. The story can also teach that there are usually many ways to solve a problem.

2. Charlie the Caterpillar-Dom DeLuise

As Charlie the Caterpillar meets one group of animals after another playing together and having fun, he asks if he can join in. But each time he’s told not welcome — because he’s ugly. As winter approaches, Charlie spins himself a cocoon. When spring arrives, the cocoon opens and out comes Charlie — now a beautiful butterfly. Everyone wants him to be part of their group. But Charlie puts these fair-weather friends properly in their place in this heartwarming story about the meaning of true friendship.

3. Big Al by: Andrew Clements

Poor Big Al! He just wants to make friends. And in the whole wide blue sea you can’t find a nicer fish. But because Big Al is large and scary-looking, the little fish are afraid to get to know him.

What can he do? He tries everything he can think of — from disguising himself with seaweed to burrowing under the ocean floor so he’ll look smaller. But something always goes wrong, and lonely Big Al wonders if he’ll ever have a single friend. Then one frightening day, when a fishing net captures the other fish, Big Al gets the chance to prove what a wonderful friend he can be!

4. Hooway for Wodney Wat by: Helen Lester

When Camilla Capybara joins Wodney s class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all the other rodents, everyone is afraid especially Wodney. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully r s or no r s.

5. A Rainbow of Friends by: P.K. Hallinan

Friends come in all colours and sizes; they can be funny or serious, musical or athletic, outgoing or quiet. This book reminds children to celebrate their differences because that is what makes each of us so special.