The first years – preschool and early elementary school ages – are critical for social-emotional learning (SEL) development. Identifying and regulating emotions, awareness of others and self, seeing and respecting different perspectives, making friends and developing relationships, and learning to walk in someone else’s shoes (empathy), and more, are developed in these years. That is why it is important that we begin teaching SEL right as early as possible.

Peekapak’s curriculum contains original stories and lessons featuring the Peekapak Pals that teach each of these concepts. You may not know, however, that in every unit, we have a list of other children’s books for you to explore with your students and to reinforce the skill being taught in that unit. These books are incredible tools for teaching SEL to young learners.

Here are some titles to introduce to your classroom:


  • The Feeling Book by Todd Parr
  • The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
  • My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

teaching SEL


  • Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  • Same Same, But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw


  • All the World by Liz Garton
  • An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton
  • Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood


  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead
  • Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein
  • The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

teaching SEL


  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
  • Flight School by Lita Judge
  • Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

What are some of your favourite books for the classroom?

Looking for a technology-based program to teach empathy and other social-emotional skills to elementary aged children? Look no further than Peekapak! Peekapak is an award-winning, social-emotional learning (SEL) platform that uses engaging lessons, stories, and digital games in the classroom and at home. Developed by education experts, Peekapak’s innovative curriculum teaches skills like gratitude, empathy, and self-regulation using literacy, reading, and writing based learning curriculum.

About Ami Shah

Ami Shah is a Co-Founder & CEO of Peekapak, an organization that is empowering the next generation of globally aware, enthusiastic, and empathetic citizens - whether learning is in-person, virtual, or hybrid. To learn more about Peekapak for your school or district, request more information here:

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