"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Children's Book Week and the Power of the Picture Book

We'll be celebrating books and reading all week because it's Children's Book Weekan annual celebration of children’s books and reading. 
On Monday we celebrated the power of picture books -- the power to help grow future citizens who are empathic and who are courageous thinkers. Through the signs, the gasps, the laughter, and the tears, books and the stories within them have the power to change the way we look at or think about the world

With each of my third grade classes I read a different picture book, but all four books had similar messages about empathy and understanding as well as finding the courage to be who you want to be. 

Check out these four fabulously-illustrated, funny, surprising, and informative books:

Book OneThe first class read Morris Mole by Dan Yaccarino.
"Meet Morris Mole—he has always been a little bit different. When the moles are running low on food, it's up to clever Morris to save the day. With a little help from an unexpected friend and a lot of digging, Morris learns that even the smallest creatures can do big things."

Prior to reading the book, the students shared what they know about moles and this answer was spot on, "I don't know much, but the moles in this story are very cute." Indeed they are!

After reading the Morris Mole, the students shared the messages that they heard in the book:

"size doesn't matter"
"you can do anything if you try"
"dig deep down and find your courage"
"take risks"
"listen to other people's ideas"
"believe in yourself"
"people can change"
"don't be afraid to try"
"help others even if they were mean once"

Here's an activity idea from the publisher:

Book Two
With the next class, we read Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt  illustrated by Adam Rex.
"...a laugh-out-loud hilarious picture book about the epic tale of the classic game Rock, Paper, Scissors.You’ve played the game. Now read the legend of how it all began "

This book did not need any introduction. Rock, Paper, Scissors is legendary after all! This is a funny, clever, and creative history behind the game. It's not all fun and games though, there's an important message here for those listening.

After reading the Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, the students shared the messages that they heard in the book:

"It's nice to find someone who challenges you"
"I play chess and like to find a good partner"
"I learn from people better than me"
"I like to challenge myself"

Of course they aren't battling each other but they see that having a good adversary can make one better. The students also spend a few minutes brainstorming the story of a game that they would like to tell, games like thumb wars, James Bond, avocado, abc, Miss Mary Mack, and chopsticks.

Here's an activity idea from the publisher:

Book Three
The next class read The Bad Seed by Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald. (This book comes out August 29th, so you will have to wait for this one.)
"This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy?
The Bad Seed: a funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you."

Prior to reading the story, I asked the students to share what they though it meant to be a bad seed. This conversation was informative and allowed us to have a cool conversation both before and after reading the story. 

Here are some of the messages my students heard:

"people can change"
"people can carry their hurt"
"never know what happened in someone's life"
"don't talk about other people"
"be kind"
"people can be good and bad"
"don't label people"

Book Four
The final class read rulers of the playground by Jospeh Kuefler.
"A stunning picture book about sharing, friendship, and kindness in a playground setting."
"One morning, Jonah decided to become ruler of the playground. 
Everyone agreed to obey his rules to play in King Jonah’s kingdom . . . 
Everyone except for Lennox . . . because she wanted to rule the playground, too."

The messages the students heard in the story:

"it's important to share"
"its not nice to boss people around"
"work together"
"share ideas"
"listen to each other"
"don't make friends choose"

Here's an activity idea from the publisher:

There you have it. One incredible morning.

The power of the picture book? It's the power to help grow readers. It was an incredible morning of reading, thinking, hearing, and listening. Every child a reader becomes every adult a member of our global community.  Children's literature, like all literature, has the power to help shape us as thoughtful, empathic, and courageous human beings. 

There's still time to get involved! 
Head to the website, register, and find 

About Children's Book Week
Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. The theme this year is One World, Many Stories and there is a challenge to read books that feature characters, history, locations, and cultures from around the world. It is administered by Every Child a Reader and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the anchor sponsor.

No comments:

Post a Comment