As a teacher of future English teachers, I am always trying to open my students’ eyes to the wonder and power of the picture book, both as an art form and as a terrific instructional tool for the secondary classroom. Being students of capital-L literature, my teacher-babies sometimes forget to consider these compact and powerful texts. It’s the best way I know to get numerous, diverse and COMPLETE texts into students’ minds.
It’s hard enough to squeeze out the time in the overcrowded middle and high school English curriculum to read young adult and classic novels, but with picture books, you can read the entire work aloud, model the focus you want students to concentrate on, let them explore the craft, have the discussion, and even try it out in their own writing–all in one period! Secondary teachers can use picture books in so many ways: as writing prompts, as…
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