Using Picture Books with All Ages
This is a topic near and dear to my heart–using picture books with all ages. Of course, preschool and elementary teachers use picture books with their students. Parents of kids in these age groups also read plenty of these wonderful books, and of course, kids read them on their own. But I also believe that upper elementary all the way to college students can benefit from picture books being used in the classroom. Yes, even college students. If you are a middle school or high school teacher or a parent of a home schooled teen, then here are my suggestions to you.
If you are beginning a unit of study, find a picture book to introduce the topic. There’s a picture book for just about any topic out there. If you have trouble finding one, then ask your children’s librarian. Getting ready to study word choice and voice in writing? Picture books are perfect for this. Authors have to have a captivating voice and choose just the right word to keep the interest of their readers and to keep parents and kids wanting to read that same book over and over again. Studying U.S. history? Find a picture book–either fiction or non-fiction–about that period in history. You will be amazed at the number of picture books covering historical events.
What is so great about a picture book for a high school class is that they’re fun! They’re quick! And they’re easy. Everyone loves to be read to. Everyone loves to look at beautiful illustrations. So, bring these two loves together and share picture books with your older students.
Here’s another tip. During the summer (that’s now!), go to your library and start checking out some picture books. Create a card catalog for each picture book and include the title, author, subject matter, and the lessons you can teach using this book. It doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily ever use the book again, but you might! You might need the perfect book for introducing the Revolutionary War, and so you find the notes on the book you read this summer, The Scarlet Stockings Spy by Trinka Hakes Noble. Check it out and share it with your class; of if you homeschool, you can share it to introduce your history lesson.
Do you use picture books with older kids? How has this worked for you?
Interested in writing for children? Want to learn about writing articles for publications? Check out the classes I am teaching at WOW! Women On Writing later this summer and fall at http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/WOWclasses.html.