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English Language Arts

The Top 5 Picture Books for Building Background and Prompting Natural Writing

Okay, I confess. As a secondary level teacher, I have a weakness for exquisite picture books, especially if they can help me introduce a concept. Maybe it’s their simplicity, fabulous art, meaningful messages, or a combination of all three. And this Top 5 list? I have a confession about that, too. I have way more than five favorites. It turns out that plenty of other teachers love using these books in their middle-school and high school classes, too.
A Collection By Debi Christensen
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
The Top 5 Picture Books for Building Background and Prompting Natural Writing
  • slj.com
    slj.com

    Teachers Find Many Reasons to Use Picture Books with Middle and High School Students

    5 minute read
    Debi Christensen says:
    Picture books aren’t just for early elementary students, and this article from the School Library Association tells why. A good picture book can help English language learners with content, and teachers find that many of these books support the critical thinking skills you are teaching. Well-developed picture book are an excellent companion to classic literature because they can elevate thinking and augment discussions.
  • teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com
    teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com

    Teach with Picture Books

    7 minute read
    Debi Christensen says:
    Take teaching with picture books to the next level with the inclusion on Mentor Text Display Cards, from Keith Schoch. This veteran teacher has a strategy to help students remember what unique writing trait they learned from each of the picture books (and other texts) they’ve read. Schloch is an expert on using picture books in the classroom, and he regularly reviews picture books you’ll want to consider including in your classroom.
  • Debi Christensen says:
    Buy the book from your favorite retailer, and be prepared to turn to this favorite year after year. I have used this book to prompt writing ideas, especially at the beginning of the year by focusing on, “There are some things you just know you’re good it. The little girl who raised Hank was good at reading dragons. What are you good at?”
  • Debi Christensen says:
    Shel Silverstein explains the concept of love in this picture book, and older students as well as younger students appreciate the message. Use the book to ask open ended questions like, “What’s the greatest gift you have ever received?” Students will have plenty of ideas to write about.
  • Debi Christensen says:
    “What would you wish for if you had a magic pebble?” I ask students as I go around the room, placing a small, colored in each opened hand. Your students may surprise you with the quality and compassion in their answers, but one thing is sure — they will write and write! This works especially well with middle school students.
  • Debi Christensen says:
    I find it impossible to teach point of view without this book. I’ve used it in English and drama classes, and the kids love it as much as I do. You only thought you knew this story; it’s not until the wolf tells his side that you see it’s all about perspective! You can purchase the book, and it’s also available as a video!
  • Debi Christensen says:
    Is it possible to complete a major milestone or graduation from school and not receive a copy of this book? It’s a traditional send-off at the end of the school year, and asking students to imagine their lives in the next five/ten/twenty years can be revealing — to you and to them.
  • Debi Christensen says:
    Fabulous picture books can be the right interlude in class when students have an extra moment — those times when they finish something early or need a break. This short video explains why these books are the perfect choice and what kinds of lessons can be learned from them.
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BloomBoard Asks:What does using high quality children’s picture book literature in secondary English classrooms look like?