Developing empathy and understanding using children's literature - Free teaching resources

We have collected together a range of our free resources to support you to use quality children's literature to teach about empathy and understanding.

Refugee Booklist - we have put together a list of children's books which deal with the issues of identity, belonging, conflict, migrant and refugee experiences.

On Poetryline we have range of resources which help you to use poems and poetry as a starting point for discussions or teaching.  You may want to look at the following examples to start with:

Gingerbread Man by Joseph Coelho - this poem addresses empathy and bullying in the playground. There is a free KS2 teaching sequence for Werewolf Club Rules, the collection this poem is fromand video of Joseph reading the poem.

John Agard reading Windrush Child  - this poem describes a child's passage on the iconic Windrush ship from the Carribean to Tilbury Dock.

Roger McGough reading Tomorrow Has Your Name on It  from Poetry Pie. This is a poem about hope and being in control of the future. There is also a free KS1/KS2 teaching sequence for this collection.

On Power of Pictures authors read their picture books which have a range of positive messages about friendship, understanding and togetherness.  There are free teaching sequences  for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 for all the books. 

Watch Viviane Schwarz reading Is there a dog in this book?  This book discusses the importance of trying to understanding others and not jumping to conclusions.

Watch Alexis Deacon reading Croc and Bird  - a picture book about friendship and understanding despite difference. 

On Corebooks we are highlighting some of our free teaching sequences for the following books:

 The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin - a wonderful book about hope and the difference an individual can make - suited to KS2 children

For KS1, Wild by Emily Hughes - a book which helps readers reflect on assumptions and individual values

For EYFS, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson - a positive story which also helps children to understand fear and separation.

You might also want to look at the work that is developing at Empathy Lab UK