The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman

Recommended Grades: K-2

Every day, Snail waits for Fish to come home with a new story. Today, Fish wants to show Snail in a new story. But, Snail wants to remain safely at home in the book he is in. What happens to the story when they disagree?

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Building Community/Theme: Read aloud The Story of Fish and Snail and discuss what it means to be a food friend. How was Fish a good friend? How was Snail a good friend? Or use the story when discussing themes of literature.   What evidence can you find in the text to support the theme?Pair The Story of Fish and Snail with other books with the theme of friendship.

©2013 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: June 25, 2013

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Clark is a shark with zing, bang, and BOOM.  Clark loves life, but when his enthusiasm is too much for his friends, his teacher helps him figure out a way to tone it down.   

Lesson Idea:


Building Community: Read aloud Clark the Shark and discuss how his enthusiasm affected others.  Was Clark able to to tone it down?  Brainstorm with students ways that they may affect others in the classroom.  What are some strategies they could use to “tone it down”?

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

©2013 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Me I Am! by Jack Prelutsky

Recommended Grades: K-5

A Jack Prelutsky poem displayed in picture book form.          

Lesson Idea:  


Building Community: Read aloud Me I Am! at the beginning of the year to help build community.  Have students write their own poems to describe the “me” they are at the beginning of the year.  At the end of the year, revisit the poem, and have students write another poem to describe the “me” they are then.  Compare the poems.

©2012 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Press Here by Herve Tullet

Recommended Grades: 2-5


Press the yellow button.  Go on, press it!  It will take you into an imaginary world full of whimsy and color.  A fascinating concept book, Press Here takes the reader on a journey page by page. 

Lesson idea:

Writers Workshop: Read aloud this book and discuss how the author created an interactive reading experience using simple written directions.  Discuss how the pictures change from page to page depending on what the reader does (following directions).  As a class, choose a similar activity as press here to use as a stimulus for a shared writing piece.  Using Press Here as a model, have students contribute directions and illustrations to create a class book.

This could be a fun shared writing experience at the beginning of the school year to build community as well!

©2011 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery

Recommended Grades: 2-5

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival is the true story of Hurricane Katrina, friendship, and survival. . . of a dog and cat.  Bobbi and Bob Cat are left behind when the hurricane hits.  Never leaving each other’s sides, they overcome many obstacles, living on the streets of New Orleans for four months before being rescued.  With a surprise twist, this is a true tale of the power of friendship.     

Lesson idea:


Building Community: Read aloud this book in the first month of school as you work to build your classroom community.  Discuss how the two Bobbies worked together to overcome adversity.  Compare how the greater community came together to assist the people and pets of New Orleans after Katrina and how the classroom community can work together to have a successful year.  Discuss other literary dynamic duos (real or fictional) that demonstrate the power of friendship and create a class list of models that students can turn to (or you can read aloud) as you all work to build a classroom community.

Click here to find more resources on building a classroom community.

©2011 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.