Ten Books to Read Aloud During Community Circle
Community Circle is a wonderful time to share a quick book. When I choose a book to share at my fourth grade Community Circle, I’m looking for two criteria: I need it to be fairly short, and I want it to focus on a desirable trait I would like the students to develop. From respect to responsibility, these books can provide a common language to build character. Here are some of my favorites.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud – Even at fourth grade, students still benefit from the metaphor in this book — everybody carries a bucket of good feelings. You can either be a bucket-filler, adding to others’ buckets, or a bucket dipper, trying to take from others. A great book I reference all year long.
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson – What if the last thing you said to someone was something mean? What if you never had a chance to make it right? This book helps kids ask those tough questions.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes – A classic, but there is no book better for helping children understand the power words have.
Big Al by Andrew Clements – In our classroom, we want students to be accepting and work well with all different types of students. This book can help spur a discussion about how we all have important things to offer.
Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie dePaola – This wonderful book often sparks a discussion of gender roles and how we don’t always fit into the categories we are supposed to. It’s also a great book to discuss supporting each other.
Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig – Any book by Trudy Ludwig is excellent for a Community Circle, but this is my favorite. Upper elementary kids sometimes don’t realize there are different ways to be “just kidding,” and it’s not always a kind way to talk.
Say Something by Peggy Moss – At the beginning of the year, I make sure students understand what a bully is; most already know. What they don’t understand is the responsibility of a bystander. This book helps us develop that understanding.
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens – So far, most of my list has focused on the life skills of caring and respect. We also want students to be hard workers and take the initiative to help themselves. This book is a great choice to begin developing this work ethic.
Stone Soup by John Muth – Teamwork is key in any classroom where students will be expected to work together. This book illustrates how together we can achieve more.
Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton – This is definitely the newest book on my list, but it is a perfect pair for Stone Soup. To be a productive team, we have to be open to others’ ideas. This hilarious book communicates this message.
Good luck with your Community Circles this year!