Using Books and Videos to Teach Kids Good Sportsmanship, Teamwork, and Cooperation Skills
Updated: Sep 30
Are you looking for books and video clips to teach kids about how to be a good sport, winning and losing graciously, playing fairly, teamwork, and cooperation? I've gathered 16 videos and 14 books to tell you about! You might also want to learn more about teaching good sportsmanship to kids over on this blog post.
Videos To Teach Good Sportsmanship Skills to Children
Please PREVIEW each of these videos before using them with kids! Given the nature of the internet, some of these links may not work, or may change. Some videos may be more appropriate for different ages.
Best Picture Books for Kids on Sportsmanship Including Being a Good Sport, Winning, Losing, Playing Fairly, Teamwork, and Cooperation
Using picturebooks with kids is a great way to reinforce good sportsmanship skills, including grit, teamwork, and cooperation! Here is a roundup of some of the best books I've read on the subject!
Unstoppable by Adam Rex is one of my favorite stories about inclusion, teamwork, and cooperation because it's so fun! This book is about forest critters working together to stop deforestation in their woods. A bear, a turtle, a crab, and a crow have to find ways to include each other and become unstoppable to deter people from hurting their woods. The lesson that is presented is that everyone can be included, whether it is in a game or saving the world! Children should have fun with the visual of a stack of animals flying around to save their forest. An all-around great story for anyone looking to learn about inclusion.
In this book, the animals merge together as a team. like this:
Craburtlebird = crab, turtle, bird
Birdraburtle = bird, rabbit, turtle
Carbturd = crab turtle, bird
My son came up with a fun activity where we write numbered 1-6 of different animals. Then he rolls 2 or more dice together. Then he creates a word and drawing that combines the animals in a team just like in this fun book!
Kid Coach by Rob Justus is a fun book where Kid Coach teaches his dad, a wrestler, about being a good sport. This is an entertaining way to teach children about sportsmanship by exposing that winning really isn’t everything. It brings a new take to teaching sportsmanship by changing the dynamic, it is now a child teaching the adult! This engaging story is definitely worth your time.
Evie’s Field Day: More Than One Way to Win by Claire Annette Noland is a beautifully illustrated short story about Evie, who had become comfortable with winning all the time. On her field day, she has to come to terms with the fact she can’t win everything and this happens when she helps a baby bird back to its nest. This is a great story for teaching sportsmanship because the book says, and displays that winning is not everything. This is an important subject to teach and this book does it well.
Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport by Christianne Jones is an awesomely illustrated picturebook that follows Lucia Lacorte, who struggle with being a very poor sport which leads to her gaming club deciding not to show up anymore. It is only when Lucia’s grandfather is a poor sport, that she realizes that the sign her club posted about being a good sport was for her and an important one to remember. This story embraces the concept that children can have fun and be respectful, whether they have won or lost a game. An incredible read for anyone looking for an entertaining way to absorb this lesson!
The Golden Acorn by Katy Hudson is a lovely picture book about a squirrel who really wanted to win the Golden Acorn award, and she thought she could do it all alone, without the help from any friends. Turns out, she learned she could not do it all alone and she needed her friends to help her bring the Golden Acorn back to win! It shows that everyone can work together and help and that everyone benefits from teamwork. This is a great story about cooperation and teamwork and is a good read for children and adults alike.
Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey is a fun short story with wonderful illustrations about a feisty pug named Pig, who just can’t stand losing, and was a poor sport about winning. He would brag and boast until he choked from eating his bowl, and it hit him in the head. Pig the Winner is a lesson about not bragging and how it can backfire and it shows children that they “can play to have fun” and let others win too.
Swimmy by Leo Lionni is a short story about a fish, Swimmy, who escapes a tuna who eats all his friends, the red fish. He goes and finds more red fish to teach them to stand up to the big fish. This story is a classic tale of facing fears, teamwork and perseverance. Swimmy, even in the face of danger can be a lesson to students to show them how even they can accomplish anything. A wonderful book and a great message that educators can use to help students learn about teamwork. - teamwork and facing fears.
The Sandcastle that Lola Built by Megan Maynor is about Lola who is building a sandcastle with all the other kids at the beach, and they work together until a wave washes it away. She was upset, but the next day, all the kids she worked with came back to help her build a new one. This is a wonderful story about perseverance and teamwork, even when you don’t get exactly what you want. This is a read-worthy picturebook for anyone looking for a great story about teamwork, dealing with disappointment, and encouraging your friends.
Be A Good Sport Diggory Doo by Steve Herman is a book about Drew and Diggory Doo, his dragon, who has to learn about being a good sport. When he wins, he sticks out his chest and struts around and when he loses he throws a fit by stomping, throwing things, and even calling his opponents names. It all comes to a head on the soccer field when he argues with the referee. Everyone leaves, but Drew was there to tell him that playing games to win can be better if he played together with his team, and he can make sure everyone feels good while playing too. This is a great book to read for children who struggle with disappointment in sportsmanship and those who don’t understand what being a poor sport is.
I Really Want to Win by Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggiotti has fabulous illustrations! Even my 9 year old son commented on how great they were. The girl in this story assumes she will win every competition she enters, and even plans out how she will celebrate her victories. Yet she runs into trouble like tripping and falling in a race at sports day, and struggling to spell a word at the spelling bee. She thinks "to be the best means everything" but she learns from a friend that doing the things you love and having fun is more important than winning.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship by Howard Binkow is a great book. I use this series of book as a go-to in my office, because I think the kids can often relate to Howard's struggles. I also love how wedolisten.org has free videos and songs that go with the books! In this story, Howard wants to be the best at everything. After being called out by his coach in soccer for his poor sportsmanship and having to sit on the bench, and then witnessing a parent acting like a poor sport, Howard changes his ways. He learns that winning isn't everything and beings cooperating more and being kinder to his teammates.
I Want to Win by Sue Graves is a story about Bella, who goes to Fun Camp for the summer but finds that she can’t win every game. She also finds she can’t build the best tent, but she is told that if she tries her best, she could still feel like a winner. This is an important message for kids that one of the parts of being a good sport is to try to do their best. I Want to Win does this very well.
Sally Sore Loser by Frank J. Sileo is about Sally, who is a sore loser and hates it when her friends don’t care about losing the soccer game as much as she does. She is taken aside by her teacher Mr. Taylor to learn about the eight rules of being a good sport. This book is great for this reason, giving children rules they can refer back to as well as examples they could relate to. Overall a great book for children and educators looking to learn about sportsmanship.
Sometimes You Win and Sometimes You Learn for Kids by John C. Maxwell is a story about Wendy and Wade, who play a sport called Woggleball, but don’t win the first time they play. Their grandfather tells them that or players can be winners if they learn how to work together and keep practicing. This is a great tale about perseverance, grit, and teamwork. A great read for educators and children alike about working on yourself with positive thoughts and attitude corrections.
Activities for Teaching Kids How to Be a Good Sport
I always start out each school year addressing sportsmanship skills since I play so many games with my students! This topic is not only important for sports, but also for character education, cooperative learning, and when playing any kind of game with kids such as video games, board games, card games, etc.
Are you looking for activities to teach cooperation, teamwork, grit, and good sportsmanship skills to kids? I've created these comprehensive resources as part of my Social Skill Treasury! You can purchase these separately in Set 1, Set 2, and Set 3, or save money by grabbing all 3 in a bundle!
This resource is part of the Social Skills Treasury which is a comprehensive and engaging series of social skills activities and resources designed to help you address lagging skills with kids in a fun way!
✔ S.M.A.R.T. IEP and Treatment Plan Objectives for Easy Goal Writing!
✔ Data Collection Sheet
✔ Editable Letter to Families About the Topic
✔ Suggested Companion Resources
✔ Ideas to Extend and Practice the Concept
✔ Resources Come in Both Color and Black and White
✔ "I Can" Learning Statements Poster
✔ Playing a Game Visual Poster
✔ Game Board with spinner, pawns, and dice
✔ 64 Scenario Cards with a Digital and Printable Version
✔ Good Sport and Poor Sport Sorting Mats
✔ Dice with Reflection Questions
✔ 8 Page Social Story Booklet in Digital and Printable Formats
✔ 24 Game Cards for Discussion and Reflection
✔ Board Game with Spinners, Pawns, and Dice (Digital and Print)
✔ 43 Coloring Pages and Worksheets
✔ Story with 12 Reflection Questions
✔ Writing Response
✔ Graphic Organizers
✔ Cut and Paste Worksheet ✔ Quotes for Discussion Prompts
✔ 6 Page Good Sport Flipbook
✔ Was I a Good Sport Today? Self-Reflection Worksheet
Sportsmanship Social Story Visual Poster
When playing games with kids, are they getting upset if they lose or fall behind in a game, or bragging if they win? Are they grabbing other kid's pieces or messing up the game board?
Are you looking for a visual poster to review expectations before playing a game?
Scroll up to the top of this page and join my free resource library to grab this free visual sportsmanship poster!
You might also want to learn more about teaching good sportsmanship to kids over on this blog post.