Each resource in the Thoughtful Books series features specific tools supporting literacy development and encouraging the deliberation of ethical considerations. The suggested activities help teachers introduce the tools and encourage young children to apply them in a variety of situations over time, until the tools are used independently, selectively and naturally.

Each One Special

by Frieda Wishinsky & H. Werner Zimmerman

In this story, Harry, the local baker, is affected dramatically by changes implemented by the new owner of the bakery where he works. After listening to the story, students identify the positive and negative effects of these changes on the community and on Harry. Students then examine the concept of fairness as it relates to this situation and decide whether or not the changes were fair. Ethical considerations - fairness, taking appropriate action

Unfortunately, the literature for this activity is no longer in print. Used copies may be available at Amazon.ca

The Great Fuzz Frenzy

by Janet Stevens & Susan Crummel

This story centers on the fear and eventual discord that occurs after some prairie dogs discover a strange yellow object in their underground home. Students examine the story closely, particularly the development of the characters. Based on what is known about the characters, students create a sequel to the story and identify the lessons learned in the story. Ethical considerations - thinking for yourself, empathy

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deeds

by Emily Pearson

This story illustrates the ripple effect of an act of kindness as Mary, "an ordinary kid," does one good deed that multiplies into many acts of kindness. Students examine the effects of Mary's act of kindness and consider what constitutes an act of kindness and the impact of a kind act when the recipient "pays it forward." Students then demonstrate their understanding of the concept of kindness by generating acts of kindness in their classroom and in the community. Ethical considerations - kindness, perpetuating kindness

Feathers and Fools

by Mem Fox

Feathers and Fools is a beautifully illustrated and thought-provoking story that tells what happens when a group of peacocks and swans are afraid of each other because of their differences. Use the accompanying activities to help children understand the concept of tolerance and the responsibility to take action in the face of intolerance. Ethical considerations - celebrating differences, tolerance of differences

The Story of Ferdinand

by Robert Lawson

In this familiar classic, five men misinterpret the actions of Ferdinand the bull and select him as an ideal candidate to take part in the bullfights of Madrid. Students examine the story, identify the mistakes made by the five men, and provide advice to help them avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Finally, students examine real-life situations, and brainstorm ways to avoid jumping to conclusions. Ethical consideration - jumping to conclusions (judgements)

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

by Jon Scieszka

After examining the wolf's character in the traditional story of The Three Little Pigs, readers investigate a non-traditional retelling of this story and determine, based on evidence, whether or not the wolf's version of the story is believable. Ethical considerations - seeing the other side (point of view), open-mindedness

The Gardener

by Sarah Stewart

Through a mysterious series of letters, students learn about a young girl, Lydia Grace, who moves from her home in the country to the city, where she lives with her Uncle Jim. The students use the letters to gather as much information as possible, looking for clues and generating questions. They compare the two characters and discuss the influence that Lydia Grace's kindness may have had on various people. Finally, students apply the concept of acts of kindness to a real-life situation as they plan and perform an act of kindness. Ethical consideration - kindness

The Three Questions

by John Muth

In this beautifully illustrated story, a young boy named Nikolai searches for the answers to three questions in his quest to become a better person. He consults his friends and a wise old turtle. In the story, Nikolai is led to find the answers within himself. Students examine the events in the story to discover how Nikolai's questions were answered. Ethical consideration - thinking of others

All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

This emotional story takes place in a classroom on Venus, where the rain stops and the sun shines only once every seven years. In the story, one student is mistreated while the children anxiously await the arrival of the sun. Students examine the unkind act committed by the children in the story and explore the roles of all the participants. They then discuss the consequences of bullying and generate ideas for possible effective interventions in bullying situations. Ethical considerations - empathy, bullying