Civility in Action

When it comes to teaching children about the Golden Rule, reinforcing good manners is just the start. Let these books and movies help you broach the broader and deeper topic of treating everyone with respect and kindness.

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Movies

Toy Story
(G)
After a jealous toy (Woody, the cowboy), helps put another new toy (Buzz Lightyear, the action figure) in jeopardy, Woody does all he can to save Buzz, who he originally thought was his enemy. The two eventually become good friends and work together to protect all toys.

Beastly
(PG-13)
With New York City high school students as the central characters, this film is a present-day retelling of the fairytale "Beauty and the Beast."

Pay It Forward
(PG-13)
When a 7th grade social studies teacher gives students an assignment to create a plan that will change the world, a young boy comes up with the "pay it forward" project in which the recipient of a favor does a favor for three more people instead of paying the favor back.

The Blind Side
(PG-13)
The Tuohy family takes in a teenager who has bounced around in foster care. They nurture him as he becomes a star football player.

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Books

Younger children
Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler
A kindergarten teacher asks her students to miss recess and perform tasks of kindness, which turns out to be more rewarding than the children anticipated.

The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
A boy and his grandfather discuss the essence of the Golden Rule, what it really means, how it applies to everyone, and ways to follow it.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
When a kind zookeeper who takes special care of sick animals becomes ill, the animals return the favor.

Older children:
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Two boys who have different disabilities, and seemingly nothing in common, band together to protect one another and form a wonderful friendship.

Bluish by Virginia Hamilton
A 5th grader befriends the new girl, who is undergoing chemotherapy.

Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories by Dawn Metcalf, Megan Kelley Hall, Carrie Jones
Today's top teen and young adult authors share their stories about bullying with important lessons on civility.

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