Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

349 Division Avenue South, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

info@benice.org    

616-389-8601

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

be nice. Action Plan

be nice. Books & Lesson Plans

All of these books display kindness. There is a Common Core Standard Lesson Plan that correlates with each book. Keep scrolling to see other suggested books! 

Kindergarten

Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits.
be nice. Lesson Plan

1st Grade

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie.
 
 
 
be nice. Lesson Plan

3rd Grade

It can when she’s Ordinary Mary—an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house—who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world.
be nice. Lesson Plan
There was only one way for Chester to do things - his own way. Wilson did things the same way; they were best friends. From double-knotting their shoes to cutting their sandwiches diagonally, Chester and Wilson were two of a kind.
 
be nice. Lesson Plan

2nd Grade

A book about sharing for one and all! Gruntly is a hog—a ball hog, a snack hog, a treasure hog! He doesn’t share his toys with his pals and, in fact, helps himself to theirs! 
 
 
 
be nice. Lesson Plan

4th Grade

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually, Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world... 

 

 
be nice. Lesson Plan

5th & 6th Grade

In this powerful novel researched in NYC schools, Newbery Medalist Virginia Hamilton documents the struggle young people face as they simultaneously assert their independence and yearn for guidance.
be nice. Lesson Plan

Other suggested be nice. Books

It's easy to implement the be nice. Action Plan into any book!
Where could a character have noticed something good or different about another character?
Is there a time when a character could have invited themselves to reach out?
Did they challenge themselves or someone else?
Was there one character in particular who empowered the others?   

Something Else 

 

New York: Mondo Publishing, 1998. Something Else wants to be like everybody else but finds he isn’t. This is a lovely story about accepting people’s differences. Great book to reassure that being different is a good thing.

Zero

 

Zero is a big round number. When she looks at herself, she just sees a hole right in her center. Every day she watches the other numbers line up to count: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 . . . !" "Those numbers have value. That's why they count," she thinks. But how could a number worth nothing become something?

Swimmy 

 

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1963. This classic story shows how being different can be a strength and how friends can band together to protect one another. Teamwork—how working together you can overcome any danger.

Giraffes Can't Dance

 

A touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it's harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.

You Are Special

The story of Punchinello, the wooden Wemmick who believes that he isn't good enough because of what others say about him. When will Punchinello realize how truly special he is?

The Juice Box Bully 

 

Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete's new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates teach him about "The Promise". Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make "The Promise"?

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

 

Through simple prose and vivid illustrations, this heartwarming book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others and ourselves.

The Very Angry Day That Amy Didn't Have

 

Margaret and Amy are two girls in the same class who are coincidentally both having a very difficult day. While Amy finds ways to solve the various problems she encounters, Margaret always makes things worse by her reactions. This simple but poignant book is an excellent tool to help young children learn alternatives to getting angry.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon 

 

"Leave it to Molly to transform all her 'faults' into marvelous talents. . . Catrow's pictures fill the pages with wild perspectives, goofy-looking kids, and hilarious details. . . . Leaves readers with the feeling that anything can be accomplished if you are the best person you can be and make the most of your gifts."

My Mouth is a Volcano

 

All of Louis thoughts are very important to him. In fact, his thoughts are so important to him that when he has something to say, his words begin to wiggle, and then they do the jiggle, then his tongue pushes all of his important words up against his teeth and he erupts, or interrupts others. His mouth is a volcano! 

Stand in My Shoes

 

When Emily asks her big sister what the word empathy means, Emily has no idea that knowing the answer will change how she looks at people. But does it really matter to others if Emily notices how they're feeling? 

I Like Myself

 

High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves--inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here's a little girl who knows what really matters.
 

Only One You

 

There's only one you in this great big world. Make it a better place. Adri's mama and papa share some of the wisdom they have gained through the years with their eager son. Their words, simple and powerful, are meant to comfort and guide him as he goes about exploring the world.