Fly Guy Presents: Space by Tedd Arnold

Recommended Grades: 2-4

Buzz and Fly Guy learn about space in the next installment of this hybrid fiction and nonfiction.  This time Buzz and his friend go to the space museum. 

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Writer’s Workshop: Share Fly Guy Presents: Space using an ELMO or another projection device.  Enlarge the pictures for all to see and discuss how the author takes elements of both fiction and nonfiction to write an interesting story.  Use the book as a model text in writer’s workshop where students may be writing informational pieces; perhaps they want to write in the style of Tedd Arnold instead.   

©2014 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.

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley

Recommended Grades: 2-5

How do children around the world spend their day?  Just like you and me. They get up, they eat breakfast, they go to school and more.  The beauty of this book is in the photographs.  Barbara Kerley shares the story of One World, One Day in this beautiful photographic essay.      

Lesson Idea:


Writers Workshop/Nonfiction: Read aloud One World, One Day and discuss how children around the world are just like the students in your class. Make note of how the author used photographs to tell the story of one day around the world.  Discuss how photographs can tell a story just as well as text.  Share other photographic essays.  Have students take photographs of events in their day to create a photographic essay of a “day in the life of. . .“

Another great model is The Milestones Project: Celebrating Childhood Around the World

©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 Hershey’s Kisses Subtraction Book by Jerry Pallotta

December Theme:  Nonfiction

A math book to teach children the basics of subtraction.

While some may look at this book, and its predecessor, The Hershey’s Kisses Addition Book, as a way to market candy to children, I look at it as a fun way to teach children concrete concepts of subtraction.  Using Hershey kisses and clowns, Pallotta expertly weaves subtraction and fun together.  I would use this book as a supplement to my own concept lessons in subtraction.  Or use it as a supplement for children who have difficulty understanding the concepts.   

Lesson Idea: Organization

Provide students with Hershey kisses and allow them to solve the problems in the book through the physical use of the candy.  As additional practice, provide students with several subtraction problems that they can solve on their own, with a partner, or with you.  Provide Hershey kisses then as well.  Finally, have students write their own subtraction (or other math concept) book using The Hershey’s Kisses Subtraction Book as a model.

©2009 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Rights Reserved. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

December Theme:  Nonfiction

A true story of Henry Brown, a run away slave on the Underground Railroad, who found an ingenious way to find freedom. . . he shipped himself in a box.

Henry’s Freedom Box (Caldecott Honor Book) is a wonderful book to use as part of a unit on The Underground Railroad. You can use this book to activate your students’ background knowledge about slavery and The Underground Railroad. It’s a fantastic read with an inspirational story.  I previously wrote a post about using this book to teach students about asking questions.  I would also use the book to teach a lesson on making predictions.     

Lesson Idea: Making Predictions

Before beginning a unit on The Underground Railroad, read aloud this book.  Prior to reading aloud the book or showing the book to the class, ask students if they can determine what a Freedom Box is.  Ask them to draw a Freedom Box.  What does it mean to them?  Next, ask students to make predictions based on the title and the cover picture.  After reading aloud the book, ask if any predictions were confirmed.  Were students able to determine what  Freedom Box was?  Use the book to begin a historical inquiry into the topic of The Underground Railroad.

©2009 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.

George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer

December Theme:  Nonfiction

A wonderful resource by National Geographic that eloquently shows the American Revolution from both sides, England and the Colonies.

When I was teaching, I often looked for picture books to supplement my lessons in science and social studies.  This would have been one such book.  One thing I love about nonfiction is that you can pick and choose the parts you want to share with your students.  You don’t have to read the book the whole way through.  This particular book is pretty long, but has a lot of great information in it.  The book begins with an introduction of both George Washington and King George.  It then takes the reader through the events that led up to and through the American Revolution examining both sides of the story.  This is a fantastic resource to use for historical inquiry into the American Revolution.

Lesson idea: Break students into two groups.  One group will research the Colonist’s (Patriots) viewpoint.  One group will research England’s  (Loyalists) viewpoint.  In addition to this book, there are fantastic primary documents at The Library of Congress that can be used to enhance and supplement your teaching of The American Revolution.  After a thorough inquiry into The American Revolution, have each group debate the pros and cons to both sides.

©2009 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.