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.

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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.

Dotty by Erica S. Perl

I am so happy to be part of the Connect with Dotty: The Erica Perl Blog Tour which is going on right now!  In addition to ways you can use Dotty in the classroom (here!), you can also read about ways to make imagination part of your child’s everyday, by the author herself, at Literacy Toolbox today!  I’m also offering a GIVEAWAY at Literacy Toolbox! One lucky reader will win a copy of Dotty!  So after you read about Dotty here, head over to Literacy Toolbox and check out what Erica has to say!

Theme: Creating a Classroom Full of Readers and Writers

Writer’s Workshop: Organization/ Varied Endings

Recommended Grades: 3rd -5th grade

Dotty is a fantastic new book by Erica S. Perl.  Ida brings her imaginary friend, Dotty to school with her each day.  When her friends begin to tease her, she finds an unexpected ally in a surprise ending.

Lesson Idea: Read aloud this book at the beginning of the year to help build your classroom community. Discuss with students how imagination can be an important part of our daily lives and how imagination can help us become better readers and writers.

Writer’s Workshop Lesson Idea: You can use this book in Writer’s Workshop to teach students how to write varied endings.  Dotty has a special surprise ending and I think students will love it!  Use this as a model, but incorporate other models of surprise endings as well, such as The Old Woman Who Named Things and Night in the Country, both by Cynthia Rylant.  After providing students with plenty of models of books with surprise endings, ask them to write their own surprise ending to a writing piece.

©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.

Big Plans by Bob Shea and Lane Smith

August Theme: Motivating Readers

Recommended Grades: 3rd-5th grades

In Big Plans a little boy sits in the corner of his classroom plotting his future and his plans are BIG! With the help of his bird and a lucky stinky hat, he may become Mayor, President, or fly to the moon!  

Motivation
A great book to use to guide students to think about their own big plans. This book could be a great discussion starter at the beginning of the school year to elicit student plans for the year and to motivate them to create plans. This book can be used in a number of ways:
Lesson Plan Ideas:
Goal Setting: After reading aloud this book, discuss the ideas of making goals with your students. As a class make a list of goals to complete for the year. Post them prominently so students can see when goals are achieved. In addition, ask students to make individual goals. For younger students, this may only mean one or two goals – or conduct a shared writing with younger students to determine their goals. Older students should be able to make four or five. Don’t get caught up in the number of goals though, each child will be different. Throughout the year, revisit the class goals and individual goals and determine how to meet them and if they have been met. In addition, students may want to revise their goals or add new ones.
Writers Workshop: After reading aloud this book, discuss the idea of having dreams and goals (BIG plans!). Ask your students to create a list in their writers notebook of their dreams and goals (no matter how far fetched!). Later on in the year, when students need a writing piece, they can choose one of their dreams or goals to elaborate on. Perhaps they will want to write down the steps they may need to take to reach a goal. Or, if a goal has already been met, perhaps they would like to share what they did to meet their goal.

©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.

Book Fair Day by Lynn Plourde

August Theme: Motivating Readers

Recommended Grades: 3rd -5th grade

In Book Fair Day, Dewey Booker, a real bookworm, is horrified to learn that his class will be the last to visit the Book Fair at school this year.  Will any books remain?  Once he finally arrives, all of his classmates look to Dewey for recommendations.  When he’s done he looks around to notice all the books are gone!  What will he do?

Lesson Idea: In the first month of school, consider combining building your classroom community with activities and lessons that motivate readers.  Read aloud this book and discuss with students how despite Dewey’s fear that all of the best books will be gone, he stops to help his classmates find books that are just right for them.  Consider having your own “Book Fair Day” in your classroom.  How?  Ask students to bring in 2-5 books they read over the summer that they would like to recommend to their classmates.  Pick a day and have students walk around to each of their classmates and hear book talks about their books.  If students are willing, ask them to recycle their reads so that their classmates can read what they recommend.

©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.