Friday, 3 August 2012

Teaching and Learning With Picture Books

"I don't wanna grow up..." but not so much because of Toys R Us. No, I'm holding on for picture books! Reading them to my grands, yes, but even more, creating lessons to use in the classroom and seeing my students "get it" because of them.

Last year, many of the lessons I taught were based on authentic children's literature. The reading, writing, listening, and speaking components of the Tennessee ESL Curriculum were interwoven into each class while the kiddos enjoyed rich stories by amazing authors such as Patricia Polacco, one of their favorites. Their vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds, and because they cared about the characters, their writing assignments showed comprehension far beyond their actual reading level. Months after studying a particular book, they were able to recall details that even I might have forgotten, and often would bring them up on their own...happy, happy teacher!

I'll be posting about favorite Polacco books (and others) from time to time, but today I just want to give you a link to an absolutely phenomenal resource:

Using Picture Books to Introduce or Teach Skills is a sixty-five page list of picture books to use in teaching math, science, social studies, and yes, language arts skills. I hope to meet Missouri librarian Jana Starnes one day so I can thank her properly for her amazing work (though I did send her a thank you email today). The list is indexed by subject and topic, and also by book title. It is copyrighted, but shared online. What a woman!

You probably have many of these books in your classroom or school library. If not, don't forget McKay Books, or your friends down the hall. Have fun planning great ways to use them!

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