Friday, August 1, 2014

Picture Books I Would Use in the Classroom, part 1

I LOVE all books, but I have a special fondness for picture books. And even though I finally broke down and gave away about 150 tomes, I could not part with but a handful of my picture books. To my delight, when I said auf Wiedersehen to my colleagues at Jordan School District, I left with 3 new picture books - two were retirement gifts from friends, and one was a recommendation that I gave to myself: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt with pictures by Oliver Jeffers; Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds; and This Plus That, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace. All were published fairly recently.

If I were in the classroom - elementary or secondary - I would find a way to work these books into my curriculum because they are humorous and because they represent what I would like to see in a classroom.

The Day the Crayons Quit

In a bevy of protest letters to their owner Duncan, the crayons "wax" poetic to convince the young artist to "think outside the box" when working on his artwork. Red feels overworked; Purple, a bit of a perfectionist, grows irritated when Duncan doesn't color in the lines; and Black thinks he has more uses than merely outlining things. And so it goes. In the end, Duncan wants to make his crayon friends happy, and so he experiments with a yellow sky, a pink dinosaur, and an orange whale. Oh, and the black rainbow rules! He earns an A for coloring - but an A+ for creativity!

In this test-crazy culture we're currently experiencing, I would want my students to know there is room for creativity in my classroom. And I would also hope, students could see another message in this sweet book: Avoid jumping to conclusions and look for possibilities beyond quick assumptions. And I'm not just talking about crayons. 

I want my postings to be short, and so I'll stop here for today! In the meantime, have a great weekend! Renae