Are your students lacking in the responsibility department? Do they like to blame everyone but themselves? Then you may be looking for some picture books to help teach your class about responsibility. Below is a list that I constantly use, year after year, of 10 books for kids about responsibility.
What if Everybody did That? by Ellen Javernick
This book shows what it would be like to live in a world where no one followed “the rules”. What if you littered, talked all at the same time, never cleaned up, etc., the world would be a disaster. Through great illustrations, this book answers questions in a kid friendly way, getting you think about taking responsibility for your everyday actions.
Franklin Wants a Pet by Paulette Bourgeois
In classic Franklin storytelling, Franklin wants a Pet has our favorite turtle learning a lesson and showing that he is responsible. Franklin wants his parents to let him get a pet. He shows his family that he is ready for a pet by being responsible for a stuffed animal.
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
This is a great story to teach how much responsibility a pet entails. Throughout the story, the pigeon is telling all of the “responsible” things he will do with his new puppy. He will water it once a month, take a piggyback ride on it, or play tennis with it. In classic pigeon form, he gets very angry and throws a tantrum and then realizes he doesn’t really want a puppy after all.
David Gets in Trouble by David Shanon
In this story David as per usual has an excuse for everything when he gets into trouble. Nothing is ever his fault. Eventually, all of the excuses make David feel guilty and he ends up apologizing for all of the things he actually did. This book is very entertaining even with the small amount of text. The illustrations are amazing and tell their own story and are great for teaching and making inferences!
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Lilly, a small white mouse loves everything about school and she loves her cool teacher Mr. Slinger. Lilly brings some things to school one day, and disrupts her class. Her things are taken away by her teacher and Lilly becomes furious, so furious that she writes him a mean letter. This books shows ways to handle strong emotions and how to take responsibility for your actions.
The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
In one of the many versions of this story, The Little Red Hen is the responsible one of her friends. She does all of the work with taking care and growing wheat, even though she asks all of her friends to help her. One day, she gets fed up with doing everything that she tells her friends that they can not enjoy the benefits since they didn’t help her. She eats the cake that she made all by herself.
The Good Egg by Jory John
The Good Egg lives in a carton with a bunch of bad (behaving) eggs. The Good Egg is responsible and always makes good choices. The Good Egg puts so much pressure on himself, that he literally cracks. He decides to go on a journey of self care and discovery and finds his true self along the way.
Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells
This is the story of the two bunnies, Max and his sister, Ruby. The bunnies go on a shopping trip to buy their grandma a birthday present. The two decide on what they want to buy her, but before they purchase it, they spend their money on lunch and other items. They realize they don’t have enough money for the gift, so they end up buying her something else before Max spends the rest of their money!
It Wasn’t My Fault by Helen Lester
Murdley Gurdson is clumsy and often has accidents. In this circle story Murdley has something happen to him which begins a chain-reaction of blame shifting between a bird, an aardvark, a pygmy hippo, and Murdley. Murdley realizes it was all his fault and accepts the responsibility.
Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst
Alexander is given $1.00 from his grandparents, he WANTS to save it, to put toward a new radio, but somehow he keeps finding other things that he wants to buy. He can’t figure out how his money has disappeared. This book is great for teaching responsibility, the concept of saving vs spending, and also a concept story for kids learning about the different things they can do with their money, some are wise choices and some are not!
What an awesome list, don’t you think?