Using Picture Books in the
County Wide In-service
Presented by Rose Hagar
October 5, 2007
Why Picture Books?
“If a picture is worth a thousand words,
imagine the value of many pictures plus a
Ammon & Sherman
Worth a Thousand Words
What are Picture Books?
Images and ideas join to
form a unique whole
Pictures & text work
interdependently to tell
Illustrations extend and
enhance the text
Any book printed in the
picture book format
Usually 32 pages
Pictures on almost
Text is relatively brief
Words & pictures
Story time Online
Why use them in the
Themes appeal universally to all age
Broad range of subjects
Explore current & relevant topics
Reflect the rising tide of realism in
Why use them in the
Short on pages & long on meaning
Can lead to further research & writing
Challenge the reader to think differently
about a topic
Short format fits time constraints
Why use them in the
Controlled amount of text makes them
readily accessible to all levels
Pictures are comprehension aids
Allows students to explore the form &
structure of language in a non-intimidating
Why use them in the
Contain elements of visual symbolism and
visual puns that are over the heads of
In a world where students are coming of
age surrounded by visual stimuli, picture
books are a natural
Criteria for choosing a Picture
Quality of pictures
Quality of text
Must relate to the
Positive Values of using
Expands student comprehension &
Suitable for short periods of instruction
Availability of multicultural texts suits a
Not daunted by length
Positive Values of Using
ELL/Special Ed. – visual and verbal
connections can increase skill and
Interactivity – reader/listener dynamic
Brevity – 15-30 minutes
Young Adult content
Positive Values of Using
Come in all genres making them
accessible to all students
“Portable art galleries”
(Robin, Simpson, 2001)
So-called simple books are less simple
than they seem
Effective method of introducing complex
Once the reader learns to unlock their
subtleties, picture books can be enjoyed
by readers of all ages
Ammon, B.D. & Sherman, G.W. (1996). Worth a thousand words: An annotated guide to picture
books for older readers. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
Bloem, P.L. (2001). “Research to practice: Bring adult books to adult literacy classrooms.” Ohio
Literacy Resource Center. http://archon.educ.kent.edu/Oasis/Pubs/0200-12.htm Retrieved March
Huck, C. & Kiefer, B.Z. (2004). Children’s literature in the elementary school . (8th ed.). Boston:
Hurst, C. (1997). “ Picture books in the classroom, Pre K – 9.” Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature
Newsletter, 2, (1), 2. http://www.carolhurst.com/newsletters/21bnewsletters.html
Retrieved March 28, 2003.
Leiper, A. (2001). “Foreign language picture books in the secondary school library .” Book
Report, 20, (2), 16. Retrieved from EBSCO Host April 2, 2003.
Nodelman, P. & Reimer, M. (2003). The pleasure of children’s literature. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Smallwood, B.A. (1992). “Children’s literature for adult ESL literacy. ERIC digest.” National
Clearinghouse on Literacy Education . http://www.ericfacility.net/ericdigests/ed353864.html
Retrieved March 28, 2003.
Young, B. “Children’s literature in the middle & secondary classroom.” Dakota Writing Project.
http://www.usd.edu/engl/young97ar1.html Retrieved March 28, 2003.
- Ok, so all I wanted to do was make a birthday cake for my dear old granny, but as luck would have it I was out of sugar. I decided to go and ask my neighbor to borrow a cup. Now, it’s not my fault that when I knocked on the door it fell in, and it’s really not my fault that I had a cold, sneezed, and the whole house fell down…well, you know the rest of the story.
- And this is my story about how can successfully use picture books with middle school students
Picture books are gaining a new respect by educators on all levels The quality of the text has improved to meet the high literary standards of today Many of the picture books that we would use in the classroom were not around yet when these students were younger, giving us new material to present
Picture books are thought to be only simple fiction, but many of today’s pbs are written in the genres of historical fiction, biography and nonfiction The Wall by Eve Bunting is the fictional account of a man taking his son to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial to find the name of the grandfather who died there. Text and illustrations are simple, but very moving as they locate the name and leave a gift in front of the grandfather’s name. Aide in class cried during a reading.
Standard (32) but can be anywhere from 24 – 48 - 64 pages Pictures take up most of the space Partnership between the two to make the book work, use of white space and word placement are critical to the integrity of the completed page In some books the words and picture tell parallel stories Harlem by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by his son, Caldecott Honor Winner Christopher Myers, is a songlike poem that is a tribute to this community. The text and illustrations give a striking picture of this community’s past and its struggles. Video of this book is on the 2000 YALSA Selected DVD’s & Videos for Young Adults List. Also a page on the Kennedy Center Web site – they are working on a performance of Harlem and you can view a video of the pages and text. Site is in the bibliography.
- Such as death, divorce, war, drugs, nuclear destruction, environmental issues, etc.
Great for starting discussions on a topic Presents a small picture of an event, now go and find out what lead to this or what was the outcome of this Reading a picture book will not take up an entire class period, although the discussion and ideas following may
Fits most reading programs – guided reading levels, AR, Scholastic Counts If the student has difficulty with the printed word they can use the pictures to prompt the ideas Most students feel very comfortable with the picture book format
-NEED EXAMPLE!!! -Picture book art is moving into the high-tech 21 st century technology with graphic style animation art, digital images, photography, etc.
In Smoky Night the illustrator uses a collage format for the backgrounds that compliment the events taking place in the text When this book won its Caldecott in 1995 many critics took the committee to task because the book dealt with such a serious theme, and that serious issues or historical events should not be dealt with in the picture book format. The objectors did not take into account that through television and newspapers children know a considerable amount about what goes on in the streets. The children live this reality. Also, books about serious issues can relieve anxieties and provide opportunities for discussion, healing, and the development of critical thinking skills. Lastly, many of these picture books with sophisticated themes were never intended for the younger child.
-Make students think outside the box Can be easily incorporated into a lesson Stories cover many races and cultures A reluctant reader is more likely to find success with this type of book
Read alouds are like dramatic play – different every time Excellent for the classroom because they are short enough to leave time for discussion, or be used as quick reads at the end of an assignment Many of the themes are understood by the older readers – Dr. Suess’s Butter Battle Book Jane Yolen’s Encounte r, Alice Walkers’s The House That Crack Built
Many are good examples of writing styles (but caution some are not – Caldecott medal does not signify a well written book – the award is for the illustration and how well it works with the story) Story structure and elements of writing such as climax, point of view, foreshadowing, plot, theme, characters, pattern All types of media are showcased by some of the world’s best artists – Showing in the Stockton gallery Attractive to young and old alike Students don’t need to be embarrassed about reading them because of the sophisticated subject matter Become as acceptable as any other resource when modeled by the classroom teacher and recommended by the media specialist
Both of these books are professional resources that contain annotated lists of picture books suitable for use with older students WTW breaks the books down by subject, with a picture key at the bottom for easy use
Each page contains 4 different types of drawing styles/as well as 4 different? Stories – let the students be the judge on that one - are they different are they all connected? Carle’s collages are adaptable for any art level Accompanying video Eric Carle Picture Maker has him demonstrating his technique Many of the newer picture book illustrators are adding technology into their artwork, using computer generated images, photography, Adobe Photoshop images Art of the picture book is a class in itself – summer class from Rutgers explored all aspects of the creation of the picture book and the artistic methods that go into the creation from the illustrations to the completion of the finished product
Students can adapt a reader’s theater script Can create costuming and staging Easy to dramatize Can hold a mock trial using evidence hidden in the pictures of True story
Both are journey stories W.U. is the story of triumph over adversity – from polio to world’s fastest woman A young man sets out for America where he settles, but longs for his homeland. He journeys back but still has a place in his heart for his home across the sea. Author tells his own grandfather's immigration story.
Good introduction Both look at the life and times of Shakespeare from his childhood to actor and playwright Aliki’s book is written in 5 acts History of the old Globe theatre, as well as illustrations of the archeological excavations of the foundation and the reconstruction of the new Globe Theatre
Filled with historical photos of Annie, the places she lived, the people around her Pastel drawings illustrate the text, but the author also uses historical photos and family photos to supplement the story
- American Revolution – compares both sides of the story, both Georges, the armies, the taxes, the governments, etc. A whimsical look at our founding fathers – what they may have been like when they were in school and how their odd behaviors turned into skills that helped to form a nation Compares what we use today with the original created by Ben Franklin – what would our world be like today had we not had the creative mind of Ben?
In Follow we see songs used as messages to pass along the clues for finding the path to freedom The Underground Railroad had several means of communication. One of them being quilt patterns. In this story Clara begins stitching the way to the Ohio River.
Faithful Elephants is the sad, true story of how, during WWII, the animals of the Tokyo zoo were killed to prevent them from getting loose and overrunning the city. The elephants refused to eat the poison, and the needles would not penetrate their skin. The elephants starved to death. WDM’s depiction of the Vietnam war
Rescuer stories At the Japanese consulate in Lithuania, hundreds of Jewish refugees from Poland arrive at the gate requesting visas to flee the Nazis. Against the orders of his government, Consul Sugihara hand writes thousands of visas and in the end saves thousands of lives In a town just outside of Paris, occupied by Nazis, Monique suddenly awakes to find a ghost sitting at the bottom of her bed. Who are you? She whispers, but the ghost flees. The next morning, Marcel, her mother becomes very angry, which is quite unlike her, when Monique tells her of her visitor. The next day at school Monique tells her best friend about her ghost. When Denise asks if Monique was frightened she said yes at first then fear for her visitor. On the way home from school the girls suddenly encounter tall boots marching up the hill toward them, heels clicking like gunshots. Nazi soldiers. The girls hear them shouting Schwein – Judenschwein as they drag a local shopkeeper away. The girls have heard of this but have never witnessed it and are very frightened. Many nights later the ghost reappears. She tells Monique that her name is Severine and when Monique asks where she lives she is quite surprised by Severine’s answer. She and her family live in the basement of Monique’s house in a hidden room. They are only one of the many families that have been hidden there. Monique realizes that she has to help protect Severine and her family. One night Monique presents Severine with a gift – a butterfly. Monique promises that one day Severine will be as free as this butterfly. As they release the butterfly at the window they realize that they are being watched by a neighbor. Because of this everyone must leave the house the next night. Severine’s parents, dressed as religious, go off with the neighbor hood priest. Monique, Severine, and Marcel begin walking for miles in the dark toward the rendezvous point. Just as they are taking a break, a patrol car of Nazi soldiers slowly drives by… You will need to read the rest of Patricia Polacco’s story of her Aunt’s work with the French Resistance to find out what happens.
Baseball Save Us is the story of how the sport was used as a diversion from the dire situation in the camps It is also a story of blatant racism In The Bracelet we find that your most important gift is your memory of your family and friends Dear Miss Breed - true story
Makes subjects available to all reading levels Introduce topic when time is limited, as a listening activity, or display on the overhead for all to see together Foreign language and bilingual books can be used for vocabulary, cultural awareness and translation activities Because of the large number of multicultural and bilingual books, and the easy language format they are a perfect choice for adult & children’s programs Wordless picture books make excellent writing prompts, as well as others with words All the facts without a lot of clutter
- Annotated bibliographies of: picture books used, supplemental & professional resources, and cited resources.