14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy

Recommended Grades: 4-6

In June2002, an unusual ceremony begins in a village in western Kenya.  An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the American people, and he is there to accept it.


This touching story of a small village and their gift for our grieving country after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is an appropriate book to read as we remember the 10th anniversary of this horrific event.

Lesson idea:  14 Cows for America is a fine book to just read aloud to your class and discuss the events and feelings surrounding that fateful day.  These children have never known a world without color coding and long security lines at airports.  The fact that a small village in Kenya gifted our country with something so meaningful and important to them is a great point of discussion.

Visualizing Text:  If you would like to tie the book into a reading comprehension lesson, read it aloud and model how to visualize text.  Read aloud the book without showing the pictures and model what you visualize as you read.  Most of the text allows for a sensory experience.                

©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.

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Christopher Bing

July Theme: Using Picture Books to Teach Reading Strategies

Reading Strategy: Visualization by drawing pictures

Recommended Grades: 4th-6th grade  

The poem,The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere [MIDNIGHT RIDE OF PAUL RE -OS], written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is beautifully engraved and painted by Christopher Bing in this picture book edition.

Lesson Idea: Ask students to close their eyes as you read aloud the poem.  At the end of each page, ask students to visualize in their minds what they just heard and draw a picture.  After you finish reading, show your students the way Bing visualized the poem.                       

©2010 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.

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!

©2010 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.

Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James

An imaginative little girl shares letters with her teacher about a whale living in her pond.

Visualizing
Through a series of letters exchanged between Emily and her teacher, Mr. Blueberry, Emily learns about whales and Mr. Blueberry learns about imagination and faith. Lesson Idea: The pictures in the story show Emily’s story, but we never see Mr. Blueberry. Read aloud the story. Ask your students to close their eyes and imagine what they think Mr. Blueberry looks like. Have them draw a picture of Mr. Blueberry. Share the pictures and discuss how each person has individual mental images and activating these mental images as we read helps us to comprehend text.