June 13

Maker Social-Emotional Learning Resources

MakerSpaces can be a great catalyst for the growth of social-emotional learning.  Facilitating a maker culture can give students a venue for the development of the tools they need to recognize, understand and manage emotions and to make the responsible decisions that are critical to being a successful learner. These life long skills must be clearly articulated and deliberately discussed so that they become an intrinsic foundation for the emotional health of the student.

There are many excellent social emotional learning titles that can be used to encourage SEL development. However, a few of these also blend very well with a Maker mentality and build on some important tenants of social and emotional well being.

Take a Chance and Take Pride in Beautiful You


If I Never Forever Endeavor by Holly Meade. Take a chance, dare yourself, trust yourself, try it…and you can fly. (2011)


Beautiful Hands by Katherine Otoshi. What will your beautiful hands do today? Inspiring children to use the power in their creative hands to help themselves and others achieve their dreams. (2015)

Cooperate and Collaborate with your Peers


Anything is Possible by Giulia Belloni. An unlikely pair share their talents to complete a project by working together. (2013)


Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds.  As well as offering a great lesson on thinking outside the box, this story encourages looking to each other for inspiration and ideas. (2014)


The Magnificent Tree by Nick Bland. Each has an idea on how to build a tree and come to respect and celebrate different ways of accomplishing the goal. (2012)

Problem Solving and Critical Thinking


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by W. Kamkwamba and B. Mealer. Bringing the concept of making into a real world problem that was solved by the hard work and perseverance of a 14 year old. (2012)

9095e113d8c9bc7cc4a0f684d4969dfc Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre. While celebrating Matty’s creations with too much glue, this story also offers a great platform for discussing the various maker solutions his classmates come up with to free him from his problem. (2013)


Wild Ideas by Elin Kelsey. Let nature inspire your thinking. Features animals teaching their creative problem solving tools and strategies. (2015)

If at First You Don’t Succeed…


The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. A young girl attempts to make a magnificent thing. She manages her repeated failures until she gets it just right. (2014)


Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty. A super book on many levels that encourages the reader to celebrate the success of trying and to recognize that failure only comes if you quit. (2013)

Celebrate What You are Able to Accomplish


Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzburg. Every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful.  (2010)


Snap! by Hazel Hutchins. What happens when the crayons are broken and you don’t have all the right colours? Use your imagination and find out what you can accomplish. (2015)


The Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell. What you create does not have to be perfect. (2014)


What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada. Understand the value of your ideas and contributions and respect the ideas of others. (2014)

Click here for other MakerSpace titles.

Click here for an extensive list of our Social Emotional Learning books. 

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Posted June 13, 2016 by acrosland in category Book Recommendations

About the Author

Anna Crosland, Teacher-Librarian in B.C. Canada: Focus on Personal and Social Core Competencies, Layering Authentic Indigenous Resources into the Curriculum, MakerEd and Digital Creation, Inclusiveness, Empowerment, Diversity and lots of Reading