Picture Books to teach about Listening

July 10, 2022

With a new school year right around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favorite read alouds for teaching all about listening! Listening is one of those skills we teach right away in our classrooms and these 4 books touch upon different parts of being a good listener.

Before I dive in, I wanted to let you know that you can watch/listen to this same information in my YouTube video below:

To read the information instead, just keep scrolling!

Book #1: Quiet Please, Owen McPhee by Trudy Ludwig

This story is about a little boy named Owen McPhee who loves to talk, talk, talk! All his talking gets in the way of his listening to others! He wakes up one day with laryngitis and during that time he is able to learn how nice it can be to actually listen to others. Instead of interrupting and spoiling things, Owen learns the importance of listening and how to be a good friend.

I love this book because Owen is not a “bad” kid. He is a wonderful kid with lots to share, but he learns in this story how all his talking can affect his friendships with others. I love this book so much that I chose it as the mentor text in my August writing mini-lessons unit for the beginning of the school year! You can check that out here: August mini-writing lessons

To check this book out, just click here >>> Quiet Please, Owen McPhee



Book #2: I Have a Little Problem Said the Bear by Heinz Janisch

I love this story because the main character shares the perspective of the person not being listened to. Many of the other books focused on listening highlight the person who is doing all the talking. This one has students thinking about what it feels like when no one is listening to you.

In this story, bear has himself a problem. He walks around to many different characters (a doctor, a tailer, a shop owner, etc. to try to get help. As soon as he said he has a problem, they interject with their ideas to solve the problem but they haven’t actually listened to bear! Finally, at the end of the story, a little fly sits down and really listens to the bear. Then, they come up with a solution together!

Many of your students have probably experienced something like this before when someone else is doing the talking for them. Or maybe they’ve tried to ask for help before and been “shushed” or interrupted. I love how this book takes a different perspective! You can check this book out here >>> I Have a Little Problem, Said the Bear by Heinz Janisch



Book #3: Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer

This book has another main character who loves to talk! Wordy Birdy is very wordy and just talks, talks, talks similar to Owen McPhee! This book is a bit different because the main lesson here is that sometimes if we are talking too much we might miss important information. In this case, Wordy Birdy is too busy talking that she doesn’t notice a “No Trespassing” sign and ends up in danger.

This is an important lesson for our youngest students to learn as they really need to pay attention to adults because they may be giving them important information to keep them safe! To check out this cute book, just click here: Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer


Book #4: My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook

Here we have another book focused on the person doing all the talking. In this book, Louis, is always interrupting others and has a hard time waiting his turn and listening to others. We see Louis get in trouble at school and at home from all his interrupting. I like this book because while the focus is largely on interrupting and not necessarily listening, Julia Cook gives the readers a tool to curb this habit.

She empathizes with the students who feel the need to share and gives them something to try while they wait their turn. This is a practical strategy we can teach our students in the classroom! Now I’ve read this book many times to my first-grade students during that first week of school. So much so, that I made a little craft to go along with this book as seen below:

That craft is in my First Week Fun unit and while it is old, it is still effective!

You can check this book out here >>> My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook


So there are 4 of my favorite books for teaching K-2 students all about listening! Do you have any others to add to the list?! Let me know down in the comments!

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