Last year Katie and I embarked on #bookaday. A hashtag inviting teachers to share one picture book a day with their students. I was a bit skeptical how reading a picture book could enhance my school day that was already full, already packed. However, I loved picture books and loved reading them at home to my kids so why not? I try to operate my teaching on why not as much as I can (thanks Katie, you help bring this out in me) ; you never know when an idea you try is $$$!
While we did not read a picture book every single day (probably more like three times a week), the experience was A.MA.ZING. Picture books breathed life into reading/writing strategies, exposed my students to all kinds of people, countries, cultures, and lifestyles both similar and different from their own, and gave us time to gain more exposure to both narrative and informational text. Win/win/win. PLUS, picture books are so freaking deep. Often we would read a picture book and I would end by asking, “Okay, so what does this REALLY mean.” Books about a spoon and other kitchen utensils bring about themes of self-acceptance and self-esteem. Books about a dot touch on creativity, perseverance. Books about crowns get at genius and even the true meaning of life.
So now, my school bag has become the Mary Poppins school bag full of picture books. Weekly, I make trips to the public library picking up picture books I’ve placed on hold. My bad may not look big, but someone, picture books keep coming and coming and coming…
Take a look at what’s in my bag today, Wednesday October 5th.
Within these pages are characters of many colors from many countries. Within these pages are tools to teach figurative language, dialogue, transitions, imagery and engaging leads. Within these pags are characters struggling with self-acceptance, bullying, self-esteem, courage adaptability. Within these pages are topics like growth mindset, meditation, student feedback. And within these pages are global issues of education, immigration, world hunger, and power.
If you do not yet use picture books to enhance your teaching, do it! and do it now!!!!!
So much to offer in these colorful art-filled pages with beautifully written verse.
Will I read all these this week? HECK NO!
Next week, some of these books will stay in my bag, others will be rotated out with new ones and that’s the beauty of it all…
I must carry lots around with me so that I can use the voice and choice of my students to help create authentic learning opportunities to use these picture book texts to help our community shine.