Social and Emotional Learning Books for Grades 3-6


Social and Emotional Learning Books for Upper Elementary School

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process in which people of all ages recognize and manage emotions, make appropriate decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop and maintain positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviors. Social and Emotional Learning is integral to classroom culture and students’ overall well-being. Students need to engage with texts that allow them to view characters who encounter challenges and deal with their feelings in complex ways.

Our diverse and multicultural books support social and emotional learning in a culturally responsive environment that helps each student to feel seen, understood, and accepted. Books touch on themes like:

Download our popular printable PDF to see SEL books curated by our literacy specialists.

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Crane Boy

By Diana Cohn

Illustrated by Youme Landowne


My Tata's Remedies / Los remedios de mi Tata

By Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

Illustrated by Antonio Castro L.


Lupita y David

By Elena Castro

Illustrated by Mary Ramírez-Greene


Dulces recuerdos

By Elena Castro

Illustrated by Michael Ramírez


Compound It All!

By Kim and Danny Adlerman


Grandfather's Story Cloth

By Linda Gerdner

Illustrated by Stuart Loughridge


Tofu Quilt

By Ching Russell


Richard Wright y el carné de biblioteca

By William Miller

Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie


Piecing Earth and Sky Together

By Nancy Raines Day

Illustrated by Genna Panzarella


Poems in the Attic

By Nikki Grimes

Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon


Selvakumar Knew Better

By Virginia Kroll

Illustrated by Xiaojun Li


To Swim in Our Own Pond

By Ngoc Dung Tran

Illustrated by Xuan-Quang Dang


Lakas and the Manilatown Fish

By Anthony Robles

Illustrated by Carl Angel