Inspirational Short Stories for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you are trying to inspire kids to do their best or try something new, it can help to have some stories that support your endeavor. This lesson offers a series of inspirational short stories that young readers are sure to enjoy.

Short Stories for Inspiration

Inspiration certainly can be a complicated thing. Some kids are inspired by a role model, while others might be propelled by a few kind words or the chance to gain insight into themselves. Regardless of the kind of inspiration you are thinking about, however, reading inspirational stories is sure to mean something to children.

When you read stories with inspirational messages, children can think about complicated and difficult ideas at a safe distance, through the characters and plot of the story. This might really help them find inspiration in spite of challenges. Moreover, reading inspirational stories can help children develop their inference skills and become more engaged with reading. The stories in this lesson are sure to be inspirational for young readers.

Stories that Inspire

Here, you'll find each title, followed by a summary and some basic information about the ideal audience for each text.

The Dot, by Peter Reynolds

Vashti is a little girl who thinks she wants to make art, but every time she tries, she grows very frustrated. Her teacher encourages her to try in a few different ways, but the words that work best for Vashti are simply 'just make a mark'. Eventually, Vashti does find inspiration and overcomes her self-doubt to make a kind of art all her own. This book is inspirational for aspiring artists and those who are struggling with self doubt.

Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio

Grace is shocked when her teacher shows pictures of presidents, because she realizes there has never been a girl, and there have been few African-Americans in this role. She decides to run for president of her class, and her opponent, Tom, does not work nearly as hard as her. Eventually, Grace wins the election. Readers will be inspired by Grace's bravery, honesty, and leadership skills, as well as by the message that sometimes the best person for a job is the one to get it.

Junkyard Wonders, by Patricia Polacco

Trisha finds out that, at her new school, the class she is in is called the junkyard. She is furious and totally humiliated, but her teacher, Mrs. Peterson, helps Trisha and her classmates learn that in fact they are all beautiful and special in their own ways. This is a wonderful book for helping kids think about the fact that their differences, and even their struggles, can sometimes be the most wondrous things about them, and kids will feel inspired to believe in themselves and focus on their inner strengths.

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