As teachers, we know that teamwork, community, and cooperation are essential values that we want our students to learn. One way to reinforce these concepts is by sharing books that highlight the importance of working together towards a common goal. By sharing these books with our students, we can help them understand the value of teamwork and cooperation in their everyday lives.
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CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT TEAMWORK, COOPERATION, AND COMMUNITY
RJ’s having another bad day. His teacher wants him to work with bossy Bernice, messy Frankie, and Norma (who just sits and picks her nose) on a report about Egyptian mummies. After a frustrating school day with his team, RJ goes home to find only one cookie left in the jar – and his mom makes him share it with his sister! With the help of his coach, RJ learns that working as a team and sharing are skills needed not just on the soccer field, but in school and at home too!
A story about working together as a team, collaboration and leadership! Join lots of little Teamwork SPOTS as they show two children all the ways to be a good team – from respecting another’s opinion to being a good leader that encourages others. You will see first hand examples of what to do when there is conflict to amazing teamwork building activities as well!
Maya dreams of building a fort-a special, comfy, cozy place to hide out and read, to dream and play. So she goes to work drafting plans and gathering all her supplies. But when she gets to the forest, she realizes she needs help. Thankfully, some new friends have just the right skills to make a perfect fort-building team. Will Maya’s fort be everything she hopes? Or could it turn into something she never even imagined?
Meg is a brilliant and creative boxitect. She loves impressing her teacher and classmates with what she makes out of boxes.
But there’s a new kid at Maker School: Simone. Simone is good at everything, and worst of all, she’s a boxitect too.
When the annual Maker Match is held, Meg and Simone are paired as a team but can’t seem to stop arguing. When their extraordinary project turns into a huge disaster, they must find a way to join creative forces, lift each other up, and work together.
Mickey is a spunky talented basketball lover who has always dreamed about playing on her school’s team. On the first day of practice, she learns of a special award given to the best teammate―and soon discovers that there is a big difference between being the best player and being the best teammate. What follows is an unforgettable story about selflessness, loyalty, hard work, and compassion, and a clear lesson on putting the team first.
Drip, Drop, Plink. The rain stops, and Levi runs outside to play in a stream of rain water. But Polly puts an end to his fun when she doesn’t want to share. It’s a puddle fight! Until they see that the water is disappearing fast. Truce! They find a way to save the water and discover that it is more fun to play together. After the Rain puts a new twist on the rainy-day picture book about sharing and learning to work together.
Lola is building her dream sandcastle–one with a tall, tall tower and sea glass that sends signals to mermaids. But the beach is crowded, and soon enough, a boy steps on her castle. Not to worry! Lola recruits him to build a wall. When a toddler with a bulldozer starts digging too close the walls, Lola decides he can be in charge of digging the moat. As the sandcastle grows, so does Lola’s friendly group of helpers. There’s only one thing that Lola doesn’t want near the sandcastle: a wave! Will the new friends be able to salvage the mermaids’ castle when their hard work is washed away?
Thomas wants to build the biggest and best snowman ever. Since he can’t do it alone, he’ll need a helping hand–or a paw. But little bears love to hibernate. How do you wake up a snoozing bear? By tickling it? Singing to it? Maybe making its favorite snack?
Whoosh! Squirrel takes off at full speed through the autumn leaves. But pump the brakes, because this year The Golden Nut Hunt race it is a team event. Squirrel reluctantly enlists her friends and is not impressed. Will Squirrel’s competitive spirit take over or will she learn how to be a team player?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Well, what if the answer was: ALL OF THEM! When a bird narrowly escapes the clutches of a hungry cat, a nearby crab admires the bird’s ability to fly, while the bird admits a longtime yearning for claws. And, just like that, they team up. Pretty soon, the team includes every animal in the forest who’s ever wanted someone else’s special trait. But how will these animals stop humans from destroying the forest for a megamall? It’s going to take claws, wings, and Congress together to be truly Unstoppable!
One day, deep in the jungle, five elephants discover a new tree – a tall tree – and, atop that tree, the most mouth-wateringly delicious fruit any of them had ever seen. “MINE!” each elephant cries. “Mine, mine, mine, mine, MINE!” But who will get there first? And will the elephants spot the five tiny mice, planning and plotting, slowly approaching that tip-top branch?
There once was a bear, a moose and a beaver who were the best of friends, though they often disagreed. So when the three friends go canoeing together one sunny day, it doesn’t take long for them to start quarreling with one another. First, they can’t decide who should get to steer the canoe. Later, they debate how best to get across a beaver dam that blocks their way. But when they can’t agree on the proper course for maneuvering through the white-water rapids they suddenly find themselves in, the consequences become truly perilous. It takes a long, uncomfortable night spent stranded on a rock to remind the bear, the moose and the beaver what they often forget: everything turns out better when they work together as a team.
Greedy squirrels Cyril and Bruce both have their sights on a very special prize: THE VERY LAST NUT OF THE SEASON! As the nut bounces crazily though the forest, the squirrels race after it, between the trees, over boulders, down the river and – ARGH! – right to the edge of a waterfall! Working together might be the only way to save themselves now …
Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger.
Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars.
But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for him and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom — and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are.
Caught in a storm, Arnold the elephant washes up on a tiny island. Along comes Mouse in a little dingy and Arnold steps aboard…uh-oh! They use the wreckage to make the island bigger. And here’s Dog―can this boat take Arnold’s weight? Uh-oh!
None of the animals can save the shipwrecked elephant but each broken vessel provides new materials for another intricate construction. Wheels and pulleys create a Ferris wheel, an elevator, a waffle maker. All the animals work as a team to build increasingly intricate constructions that turn the desert island into a fun park city. Soon there is a whole community and enough space for everyone!
The Sun and the Clouds are best friends. Together they keep the world warm, the gardens growing, and the sky full of beautiful rainbows. But one day they get into a fight and refuse to be in the sky together. And that means there are no longer any rainbows. Without rainbows, the colors start disappearing until Earth was left with no color … except for one little forgotten box of crayons in one little school desk.
Determined to save the rainbows and fix the Sun and Clouds’ friendship, the crayons draw rainbows all over town. Their attempts go unnoticed. Soon they realize that they’re going to have to do something big to get the attention of the former friends. So, the crayons create the biggest rainbow they can and hope it’s enough to bring color back to the world.
Poor Little Red Pen! She can’t possibly correct a mountain of homework all by herself. Who will help her? “Not I!” says Stapler. “Not I!” says Eraser. “¡Yo no!” says Pushpin.
But when the Little Red Pen tumbles in exhaustion into the Pit of No Return (the trash!), her fellow school supplies must get themselves out of the desk drawer and work together to rescue her. Trouble is, their plan depends on Tank, the rotund class hamster, who’s not inclined to cooperate. Will the Little Red Pen be lost forever?
When Pencil draws on the pages of this book, Eraser erases parts of Pencil’s work, and the book itself becomes a canvas for their different takes on creativity―until the two discover their artwork is even better when they work together.
Tiki can’t believe it when the ball is knocked out of his hand in the Cave Spring Viking’s last preseason game against their rival Knights. And when nobody wants to talk to him the next day at lunch, he feels even worse. Can his brother and coach help him regain his confidence?
In a dusty township in South Africa, Ajani and his friends have earned a brand-new, federation-size soccer ball. They kick, they dribble, they run, and they score. These clever boys are football champions! But when a crew of bullies tries to steal their ball, will Ajani and his friends be able to beat them at their own game?
In this Franklin Classic Storybook, our hero can count forwards and backwards. He can zip zippers, button buttons, slide down a riverbank by himself, and he can even sleep alone is his small, dark shell. And he’s trying very hard to be the best player on his soccer team.
One day, Kamala and Maya had an idea. A big idea: They would turn their empty apartment courtyard into a playground!
This is the uplifting tale of how the author’s aunt and mother first learned to persevere in the face of disappointment and turned a dream into reality. This is a story of children’s ability to make a difference and of a community coming together to transform their neighborhood.
Rocket is off to the islands to visit her grandparents. Her family loves nothing better than to beach comb and surf together…but the beach is clogged with trash! When she finds a turtle tangled in a net, Rocket decides that something must be done!
When the town’s old library is destroyed by a tornado, the people are left wondering: What should they do with the space where the library used to be?
The characters all want different things: the builder wants there to be a new skyscraper, the grocer wants a new parking lot, but Nia just wants a new library . . . but how can one person build a whole library?
Mary had a little plan
that sprouted on the spot.
It all began the day she passed
a drab, abandoned lot.
Fashion-forward Mary is known for adding flair everywhere she goes. When she spots an abandoned lot in her neighborhood, Mary knows she can use her talent to spruce it up. Soon she’s rallying neighborhood shops and calling on her friends to help. With Mary leading the way, this group carries out her little plan and fashions a future that is bright!
Wilson dreams of all the ways he can help improve his friend Gigi’s house so that she’ll be warm, comfortable, and happy.
One day, friends and neighbors from all over come to help make Wilson’s plans come true. Everyone volunteers to pitch in to make Gigi’s house safe, clean, and pretty.
Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. That is, until the clever strangers suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued by the idea, everyone brings what they have until– together, they have made a feast fit for a king! In this inspiring story about the strength people possess when they work together, Muth takes a simple, beloved tale and adds his own fresh twist.
There hasn’t been a comfortable place to sit in the apartment since a fire in their previous apartment burned everything to “charcoal and ashes.” Friends and neighbors brought furniture to their new apartment downstairs, but no one brought anything big or soft or comfortable. Finally the jar is full, the coins are rolled, and in the book’s crowning moment, mother, daughter, and Grandma search four different furniture stores, and after carefully trying several chairs, like Goldilocks, they find the chair they’ve been dreaming of at last.
A muddy country road is no match for this little pick-up—that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck.
Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road.
When we work together, we humans can do incredible things. We share the responsibility to address climate change and our changing planet. It is critical that we act collectively to protect our beautiful, fragile world. Celebrating the amazing things people can do, it’s an inspiring message of hope.
Green grass is wide and fresh and clean for a family to play in, and brown dirt is perfect for digging a garden. But when gray buildings start to rise up and a whole city builds, can there be any room for green space? The neighborhood children think so, and they inspire the community to join together and build a garden for everyone to share in the middle of the city.
One creative boy.
One bare, abandoned wall.
One BIG idea.
There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone.
Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.
Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families.
The women of one village in Iceland decide to plant trees to stop the powerful winds that make it difficult even to go for a walk, but first they must find ways to prevent the sheep from eating all of their saplings while encouraging chickens to fertilize them.
The unbeatable team of Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome present a riveting brick-by-brick account of how one of the most amazing accomplishments in American architecture came to be. Join a young boy as he watches the Empire State Building being constructed from scratch, then travels to the top to look down on all of New York City in 1931.
All across this great big world, jobs are getting done
by many hands in many lands. It takes much more than ONE.
Gorgeously written and illustrated, this is an eye-opening exploration of the many types of work that go into building our world–from the making of a bridge to a wind farm, an amusement park, and even the very picture book that you are reading. An architect may dream up the plans for a house, but someone has to actually work the saws and pound the nails. This book is a thank-you to the skilled women and men who work tirelessly to see our dreams brought to life.
The Seaple live in the ocean and the Treeple live in the jungle. When the Treeple start to throw their waste in the sea, the two worlds collide. Then a young Treeple has an idea . . . This is a heart-warming story about ocean conservation and communities working together
It’s a dark day for Itching Down. Four million wasps have just descended on the town, and the pests are relentless! What can be done? Bap the Baker has a crazy idea that just might work. Young readers will love this lyrical, rhyming text as they watch the industrious citizens of Itching Down knead, bake, and slather the biggest wasp trap there ever was!
The animals of Knotty Pine won’t listen to the gnats’ suggestion for keeping the hunters away, but learn to appreciate the tiny bugs when they’re able to make the hunters “buzz off.”
Tired of having to do all the work for a lazy farmer, Farmer Duck collapses from exhaustion, but the farmyard animals come up with an ingenious rescue scheme designed to teach the slothful farmer a much-needed lesson.
The sheep in this story is a dreamer, while her friend the wolf has a more practical disposition. One day the sheep runs to the wolf with an idea. She wants to build a flying machine! But the wolf tells her it’s impossible. Eventually, however, the sheep’s dream gets the better of the wolf’s doubts, and they begin to work on the project together. Through perseverance and the process of trial and error, the sheep and wolf manage to create a winning design, brought to life by architecturally and mathematically inspired paper collage art. At the end of this whimsical tale, even the wolf has to admit that anything is possible!
I hope you’ve found a new favorite book to share with your students as you encourage teamwork and build community in the classroom. You might also enjoy:
- Books to Help Teach Rules and Expectations
- Growth Mindset Books
- Bravery and Courage Books
- Classroom Management Ideas and Activities
You can find all of my book lists here.