One of the first conversations I have with my students is about taking risks. I am very clear to define the difference between taking a risk like jumping off a roof into a pool (not what I'm recommending) and raising your hand to ask a question (what I do encourage). I want my students to take risks and I try to model that for them as I'm teaching.
One thing that I think students relate to is characters from stories. We often revisit stories we've read and reread-that reminds me of..... or it's just like what happened to....These are some of the stories we read the first few weeks of school-I think they are role models for the kind of risk-takers I want my students to be. I know you probably already know about Tacky the Penguin, Stephanie and her ponytail, Vashti in The Dot and Elmer. These are some title you may not have heard of before:
I think teachers can even learn from this book! I have seen teachers who just don't understand students like Oddrey. It shows how being odd can even save the day.
Monique, very much like Stephanie from Stephanie's Ponytail wants her own look. But everyone always copies what she does to spice up her school uniform.
Another example of how you should be yourself, even if people think you are odd.
I love Molly Lou Melon! She has buckteeth and a voice like bullfrog-but it doesn't stop everyone from loving her.
My all-time favorite "be yourself" story. Woolbur isn't like the other sheep and his parents are very worried about it. Fortunately, he is willing to take the risk of being himself.