The responsibility of your students may not be up to par. Do they like to point the finger at other people instead of their own faults? In that case, you might want to look for some picture books that can help you teach your class about responsibility. Below is a list of 10 books for kids about being responsible that I use all the time. I use this list every year.
What if Everybody did That? by Ellen Javernick
People in this book don’t follow “the rules.” What if you threw things away, talked at the same time, and never cleaned up? The world would be a mess. Illustrations in this book are very good, and they help you think about how you can be more responsible in your daily life.
Franklin Wants a Pet by Paulette Bourgeois
Franklin wants a pet is a classic Franklin story. Our favorite turtle learns a lesson and shows that he is responsible. Wants: Franklin wants to get a dog or cat. Having a toy animal makes him look like an animal lover to his family.
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
If you want to show how much responsibility a pet has, read this story to your kids. In this story, the pigeon talks about all the things he will do with his new puppy. One month, he’ll water it, ride on it, or play tennis with it. As a pigeon would do, he gets very angry and throws a tantrum. Then he realizes that he doesn’t really want a puppy after all.
David Gets in Trouble by David Shanon
In this story, David always comes up with an excuse when he gets into trouble. It’s never his fault. As time goes on, David starts to feel bad because of all of the excuses. He ends up saying sorry for all of the things that he did. This book is very interesting even though there isn’t a lot of text. Great for teaching and making inferences, the illustrations tell their own story, which is why they’re so good!
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Lilly, a small white mouse, is in love with school. She also loves her teacher, Mr. Slinger, because he is very cool. During class one day, Lilly brings a lot of things to school, and it gets in the way. Her things are taken away by her teacher, and Lilly is so angry that she writes him a mean letter. This book tells you how to deal with strong emotions and how to take responsibility for your actions, so you can move on from them.
The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
There are many different stories about the Little Red Hen. One of them says that she is the one who is the most responsible. It doesn’t matter that she asks all of her friends to help. She does all of the work herself, even though she wants them to. Because her friends didn’t help her, she tells them they can’t enjoy the benefits because they didn’t do anything. Eats the cake she made herself.
The Good Egg by Jory John
The Good Egg lives in a carton with a lot of bad eggs that don’t do well. When the Good Egg is in charge, he always makes good decisions. The Good Egg puts so much pressure on himself that he breaks down. His choice: He decides to go on an adventure to care for himself. He also learns about himself as he goes.
Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells
There are two bunnies, Max and Ruby. This is the story of how they met. Their grandma is having a birthday, so the bunnies go on a shopping trip to buy her a gift. In the beginning, the two decide what they want to buy her. They spend their money on lunch and other things before they buy it. Their money runs out before Max spends the rest of it. They buy her a gift instead.
It Wasn’t My Fault by Helen Lester
Murdley Gurdson is very clumsy, and he often gets into trouble. In this circle story, Murdley has something happen to him that starts a chain reaction of people blaming each other. A bird, an aardvark, a pygmy hippo, and Murdley all blame each other. Murdley realizes that it was all his fault, and he takes responsibility for it.
Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst
Alexander is given $1.00 by his grandparents. He wants to save it and put it toward a new radio, but he keeps finding other things he wants to buy with it, so he can’t do that. He doesn’t know where his money went. To teach kids about responsibility, the concept of saving vs. buying things you want, and how to make smart choices with their money, this book is great!
Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi
Book about what to do if you make a mistake. The right thing to do is to admit that you did something wrong and help fix it. When you read this silly book, you learn about responsibility in a new way. Several animals try to run away from their problems, but they only find more problems. A little bird helps them figure out how to deal with things.
The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room by Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain
This book is an oldie but a goodie. I used to read this to my brothers when they were little and then to my kids. It’s a book about the age-old problem of a messy room. No one wants to clean it, and there is a lot of disagreements about who should do what. Mom ends up cleaning it up herself until one day when she finally had enough. I am guilty of this myself, but I love the way she and Papa Bear solved the problem. They helped their kids organize their room so it would be easier to clean, and they could keep track of their toys better. If you’re not familiar with this series, you can check them out at the library. They have a book for almost every situation.