Using Picture Books to Teach Comprehension Strategies by Joanne M. Zimny

June Theme: Professional Books Related to Picture Books

With summer beginning for some teachers, and just around the corner for others, I thought I would take this month to post professional books that may be of use when using picture books in the classroom.

Recommended Grades: 2-5  

Using Picture Books to Teach Comprehension Strategies: 30 Lessons That Teach Students the Six Comprehension Strategies They Need to Actively Engage With Text and Read for Meaning is a fantastic resource if you are looking for additional lessons to teach visualizing, questioning, making inferences, making predictions, determining importance or summarizing.  This book provides 30 lessons related to key comprehension strategies that students need to actively engage with text.  Lessons include books by Jane Yolen, E.B. Lewis, Eve Bunting, Chris Van Allsburg, Robert San Souci, Mem Fox, and Nikki Giovanni among others!

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The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden

A fantastic primary source about the efforts the Reys took to escape Paris on bicycle just before the Nazis marched into the city. . . with their Curious George manuscript.

Determine Importance
While this isn’t exactly a picture book, it is a great primary source about the series of picture books, Curious George. If the Reys had not escaped the city with their manuscript in hand, we would never have learned about that curious little monkey always looking for an adventure. Primary sources give readers a sense of history and through this book, readers learn the background of the authors, Margret and H.A. Rey. This book pops with original primary sources such as original manuscript pages, telegrams, diary entries, photographs and letters among others. Lesson Idea: Introduce primary sources to your students via this text. Read aloud pieces of the text. Discuss how the primary sources enhance the narrative. Then provide a topic of study for your students and see if they can locate primary sources in the classroom or library (you may want to do your own research ahead of time to determine if there are primary sources available) pertaining to that topic. Discuss and interpret the primary sources found. Determine the importance of a primary source and whether comprehension can be clarified through one.
For more lesson ideas, click here