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Social Emotional Learning Through Read Alouds, and Why it Can’t Wait

There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and now is the time to build a generation of resilient children who will learn to acknowledge and embrace their feelings while persevering in their academic and social emotional learning.  

Most students are coming back to school in person next year, and we are so relieved that we will get to see their faces.  Come fall, we’ll exchange with parents - in person.  We’ll gauge our students’ state of mind with side conversations, and we’ll need to help our little ones navigate any strange and difficult emotions that have been tugging at them all year.  It comes as no surprise that our youngest students lost out on the crucial social emotional learning that happens  during this formative time in their lives (Wall Street Journal).  

Marie has taught kindergarten, and is currently the parent of a kindergartener.  She witnessed first hand the need to create space for children to talk about their worries.  That’s why we’ve spent the last nine months reviewing hundreds of books: we wanted to find more ways to talk about social and emotional learning.   

Read aloud is the time where teachers can host a safe time and place to talk through students’ self-awareness, emotions and social norms.  That’s why we’ve selected stories that evoke empathy, help students identify their own feelings and their peers’, and teach how to cope with and express emotions.  Check out some of our Spanish SEL themes right here: 

I Am Who I Am
Sharing Is Caring
The Power of Friendship
Families Take Care of Each Other
Embracing Differences
Growing Older and Wiser
Challenges for Characters
Group Dynamics in Friendships
Mindfulness and Creativity

Our Spanish social emotional read aloud sets have been so popular that we collaborated with a school district to develop a complementary English collection of SEL read alouds. This new collection includes 44 titles around five themes. It represents the diversity in our schools today. We have really fallen in love with it!

English Pre-K Social Emotional Learning Texts 


As we prepare for the upcoming school year, we must keep social emotional learning at the forefront of our minds and incorporate it into every lesson. With our SEL focused collections, students will improve language, literacy, vocabulary, and reading skills, while also developing the critical social and emotional skills that our students missed out on with distance learning.  

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Sofi Rice and Marie Bouteillon, Curators at Hexagramm Books

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