Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Alexander receives money from his grandparents and really wants to keep it, but does he?    

Lesson Idea:

Reading Workshop


Comprehension Strategies: Making Inferences: Read aloud Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday and model how to infer what characters are feeling based on the pictures and text.  Create a t-chart that says Text Clues and Inference and use it as a guide to scaffold for students (or What the Picture Shows/Inference).  Once you’ve modeled, provide students the opportunity to make inferences with a partner (use a different book) using the t-chart.  Eventually, have students make inferences as they read without the t-chart.

©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.

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Recommended Grades: K-2

When Nicki drops his mitten in the snow and continues to play without realizing it.  One by one, woodland animals find the mitten and crawl in. 

Lesson Idea:


Comprehension Strategies:

Making Predictions: Written in her unique style, Jan Brett provides a book that not only tells a story through text, but also through the pictures.  Read aloud The Mitten and point out the pictures to students.  Ask students to use the pictures to make predictions about what they think will happen as you read.

©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.

Independent Dames by Laurie Halse Anderson

July Theme: Using Picture Books to Teach Reading Strategies

Reading Strategy: Asking Questions to Build Background Knowledge

Recommended Grades: 4th-6th grade

Everyone has heard about the men of the American Revolution.  But what about the women and girls?  Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution answers the question through thoughtfully researched information.

Lesson Idea: Teach students to ask questions to help build their background knowledge before reading a text.  Show students the cover of the book.  Discuss the term, “dames.”  Discuss the important male figures of the American Revolution and their accomplishments.  Then ask, “What about the women?”  Ask students to write down any questions they have regarding the women of that time period.  What did they do?  Are there any familiar historical women of that time period?  Why don’t we hear as much about the women?  Then read aloud the book and determine if you can answer any questions.                    

©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.

America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney

July Theme: Using Picture Books to Teach Reading Strategies

Reading Strategy: Building Background Knowledge

Recommended Grades: 4th-6th grade

I chose to review America : A Patriotic Primer in honor of our Fourth of July holiday yesterday. This is a great picture book to help build children’s background knowledge of the principles on which the United States were founded.  Be sure to read all of the little bits of information on each page.

Lesson Idea: Prior to a unit on the history of the United States, discuss what students already know about the founding of the United States.  Read aloud the book and discuss new information that students learned.  You may want to consider charting the information as well.  Once sufficient background knowledge has been built, have students create their own ABC book about other facts related to America (i.e. symbols of the U.S., presidents, or a combination of historically important people and events)        

©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.