One of the goals of Open Circle is to get to the heart of learning. Using children’s literature is one way to help students reach that goal. Teachers know that the right story can evoke strong emotional responses in children and stimulate new ways of seeing themselves and others. It is this potential for emotional and intellectual engagement that makes Literature Connections an important component of the Open Circle Curriculum.

Each book in Literature Connections has been selected for its ability to get to the heart of, and reinforce, one or more of the Open Circle concepts. Sharing and discussing literature is one way to promote and strengthen both literacy and social and emotional competencies.

Most of the books on the list are appropriate for reading aloud to students in kindergarten through grade five. Reading aloud brings the classroom community together to share and reflect on important social and emotional issues.The Open Circle Curriculum includes a comprehensive list of over 200 recommended children’s books that relate to social and emotional learning. Educators, parents, and librarians can share and discuss these books with children, providing an opportunity for children to connect or empathize with story characters as they tackle problems.

Here is a list of children’s literature that relates to our Open Circle units and concepts. Parents are encouraged to read these books with their children and to discuss these important concepts. For more information about Open Circle, please go to


Children’s Literature Connections