Looking for children’s books about cooperation in your elementary classroom? This is the list for you! Books are the best gateway for opening up discussions in the learning environment. Whether you are a teacher, counselor, or parent, using books to help illustrate a topic is a great way for kids to learn. As you are reading, ask questions and engage the reader.
Cooperating is an important part of everyone’s life. This is why it is so important to teach to kids. I often cover cooperation in my lessons, I use this Character Education: Cooperation curriculum that covers everything you need to teach and reinforce cooperation. Here is a list of some of the awesome children’s books about cooperating that I use to help teach this topic to students.
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Title of Book and Author: Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
A short summary of the book: Stick and Stone are both lonely. Pinecone begins to bully Stone, and Stick stands up to Pinecone. After this, Stick and Stone do not feel so alone. They begin to play and explore together. They realize the benefit of reaching out and making a new friend.
Why I like the book: Beth Ferry uses rhymes to make listening to this story fun. The illustrations in this book also help children engage and empathize with Stick and Stone as they endure loneliness and find a new friendship with one another.
The morale of the story: It is never too late to make friendships and stick up for each other.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Bullying; Friendship
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): Stick and Stone on Amazon
HOW THE CRAYONS SAVED THE RAINBOW
Title of Book and Author: How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney
A short summary of the book: This story highlights teamwork and perseverance as seven crayons work together to make their dream of seeing the world in color come to fruition. As best friends, the Sun and the Clouds warm the world, keep gardens growing, and create beautiful rainbows
in the sky. After the Sun and the Clouds get into a fight, they decide to stop being in the sky together; that means there are no more rainbows. The colors start to disappear from the Earth since there are no longer any rainbows.
The crayons are the only color left, and they decide to help the Sun and the Clouds become friends again. They begin to draw rainbows all over town, but the Sun and the Clouds do not notice. The crayons decided to make the largest rainbow in attempts to reunite the old friends and bring color back into the world.
Why I like the book: How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow teaches us what can happen when we fight with friends as well as what can happen when we choose to work together for a greater cause.
The morale of the story: Perseverance and teamwork can result in a beautiful life!
Topics covered: Cooperation; Teamwork; Friendship; Perseverance
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): How the Crayons saved the Rainbow on Amazon
UP THE CREEK
Title of Book and Author: Up the Creek by Nicholas Oldland
A short summary of the book: The bear, beaver, and moose are best friends, but they often disagree. One day they decide to go on a canoeing trip. Throughout the entire trip, the friends argue and fight over who gets to do what and how to cross a large beaver dam. Their disagreements lead them facing raging rapids, and they have to decide on a rescue plan together to finish the trip safely.
Why I like the book: Nicholas Oldland writes a funny story of friends who overcome the usual disagreements that happen in all friendship situations. The tale highlights that teamwork does not always come easily, but in the end, working together is always worth it.
The morale of the story: All friendships have rough spots, but they can be overcome when working together.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Teamwork; Friendship
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): Up the Creek on Amazon
Title of Book and Author: Eraser by Anna Kang
A short summary of the book: Eraser always feels like she is cleaning up after everyone. Only Ruler and Pencil Sharpener seem to appreciate her at all. The other school supplies love Pencil’s sharpness and how Tape and Glue help others stick together; Eraser feels left out and wants to be noticed like everyone else. Finally, Eraser begins to understand and appreciate her purpose.
Why I like the book: Eraser helps students see the importance of being happy with who you are as an individual and highlights giving yourself extra chances. It also encourages students to pay attention to those less noticed and acknowledge the unique abilities these individuals bring.
The morale of the story: Heroes come in all sizes!
Topics covered: Cooperation; Happiness; Uniqueness
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): Eraser on Amazon
WHEN PENCIL MET ERASER
Title of Book and Author: When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick
A short summary of the book: When Pencil Met Eraser tells about the journey Pencil and Eraser took to become best friends. At first, Eraser erases parts of Pencil’s work as Pencil draws on the pages of the book. Eventually, Pencil and Eraser learn that their artwork is so much better when they work together.
Why I like the book: This book creatively teaches children about friendship and cooperation while keeping them engaged with an object they use everyday at school and home.
The morale of the story: We are better when we choose to work together instead of separately.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Friendship; Creativity
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): When Pencil met Eraser on Amazon
A LITTLE SPOT OF TEAMWORK
Title of Book and Author: A Little Spot of Teamwork by Diane Alber
A short summary of the book: The Teamwork Spots show two children many different ways to be a good team. The Spots give the children several examples including being a good leader, encouraging others, and respecting others’ opinions. They also help the children learn how to work through problems as they arise. Diane Alber provides teamwork building activities in the book as well.
Why I like the book: This book provides a variety of examples to help students learn how to use teamwork at home, at school, and in sports. It also provides real-life ways to problem solve conflicts.
The morale of the story: Teamwork is essential to our daily lives.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Collaboration; Leadership
AFTER THE RAIN
Title of Book and Author: After the Rain by Rebecca Koehn
A short summary of the book: Levi longs to play with his toy boat and is so happy when the rainwater gushes out of the gutters to create puddles and streams. Polly claims that the water stream is hers and does not want to share with Levi. They begin to fight in the puddle but quickly see that the water is disappearing rather fast. Levi and Polly must work together to save the water; while they do so, they realize that it really is more fun to play together.
Why I like the book: Working together allows you to accomplish something bigger than you could do alone.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Working together; Sharing
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): After the Rain on Amazon
HARD HAT FOR KIDS
Title of Book and Author: The Hard Hat for Kids by Jon Gordon
A short summary of the book: Mickey loves basketball and cannot wait to play on her school’s team. On the first day of practice, Mickey hears about a prize that is awarded to the best teammate. Throughout the story, Mickey learns that being the best player and the best teammate are very different. She must learn to be selfless, loyal, compassionate, and work hard to put her team first.
Why I like the book: Jon Gordon inspires children how to be great teammates in this book. He presents life lessons in ways that students can apply to everyday life right away.
The morale of the story: Teamwork and friendships are worth hard work and investment.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Selflessness; Loyalty; Hard work; Compassion; Teamwork
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): Hard Hat for Kids on Amazon
Title of Book and Author: Swimmy by Leo Lionni
A short summary of the book: Swimmy is a small black fish who was born a different color than all of the other fish in his school. One day, all of the fish in his school were eaten by a big tuna fish. Swimmy was afraid and feeling lonely as he began to travel on his own. He saw lots of beautiful things and met many different types of sea creatures as he traveled. Soon, Swimmy found a school of fish who were red like his own school was. At first, the red fish were too scared of being eaten to explore with Swimmy. Swimmy comes up with a plan to keep his new family safe as they all work together.
Why I like the book: The artwork in this story is unique and eye-catching too! Swimmy would be a great book to teach students in a classroom the importance of welcoming everyone’s different qualities and joining together as a family/community.
The morale of the story: Swimmy teaches students that relationships matter and one person can make a difference. This book highlights differences in individuals while demonstrating the power of teamwork and the ability to overcome any danger or challenge when working together.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Relationships; Teamwork; Uniqueness
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): Swimmy on Amazon
TEAM WORK ISN'T MY THING
Title of Book and Author: Teamwork Isn’t My Thing, and I Don’t Like to Share! by Julia Cook
A short summary of the book: RJ is having a bad day. His teacher wants him to work on a group project with three students whom he does not like. The teacher tells the class “TEAM” stands for “Together Everyone Achieves More”, but RJ doesn’t really believe her. After his frustrating day at school with his team, he goes home, and his mom makes him share the last cookie with his sister. RJ’s soccer coach helps him learn that working as a team and sharing skills is not just needed on the field but in school and at home too.
Why I like the book: RJ is a relatable character for most children. Julia Cook includes a page at the end of the book with helpful tips for teachers and parents to teach teamwork to children.
The morale of the story: This story teaches children the value in sharing with others and working together as a team.
Topics covered: Cooperation; Social Skills; Teamwork; Sharing
Where can I purchase this book (affiliate link): Teamwork isn’t my thing, and I don’t like to share on Amazon