Get Your Students to Create Their Own Picture Books
BY CARLY ACCOMANDO
The quote above is from Tomie dePaola. He was one of my favorite authors when I was growing up. I loved the adventures his stories took me on. I also love the adventures my students and I have gone on this school year, all through the use of picture books.
As I have written before, we use picture books across all subjects to teach specific topics. In English Language Arts, we have used picture books to study main idea, inferencing and figurative language.
In science and social studies, we have used picture books to study the ecosystem, the solar system and the events that led up to the American Revolution. Picture books provide such a great visual for the students. We can read from a textbook about the French and Indian War and by learning about it through the use of a picture book, we are able to see what it might have been like to be there. It helps us visualize how different times were. This whole challenge has been such a blessing!
During the month of December, we took our picture book challenge a little bit further. We read a variety of holiday-related picture books. When we got to The Night Before Christmas, we read several different versions of the story, using the pictures to help us along the way. Next, students were given their own blank books and they made their own The Night Before Christmas story to gift to their parents.
Students were given copies of the original book, and they turned the story into their lives. For example, if I created this book for my parents, I would have titled it The Night Before Christmas in the Accomando House. The kids added things specific to their family. One of my students with the last name of Calabrese wrote this on one of her pages: “’Twas the Night Before Christmas, when all through the Calabrese house, not a Calabrese was stirring, not even their bunny.”
The books turned out adorable!I owe the authenticity of these books to our #classroombookaday challenge. I truly think that by reading these picture books daily, students have a genuine understanding of beautiful literature and pictures.
Since being back from break, we have continued with figurative language by studying personification and hyperboles. Students worked with a partner to create a New Year story with elements of personification and hyperboles.
This time around, we used a program called Book Creator to make our books. Again, these are turning out so beautiful and authentic! The kids are so excited that they created their own eBooks. They have had so much fun logging in and reading their classmates’ books.
I have shared some pictures of the books. You will see that each cover and title are unique, but students learned the same skills.
Using picture books to teach kids, no matter what age, is incredibly rewarding, and I wouldn’t change it for a thing!
Fourth Grade Teacher, Duker School, McHenry IL
Carly Accomando is a fourth grade teacher at Duker School in McHenry, IL. It's her fourth year teaching, and this is her second year at Duker School. Previously, she taught first and second grade at a charter school. Says Carly, "Teaching is my greatest passion in life! I feel very fortunate to say that I truly love what I do. Each day is a new adventure." In her free time, Carly enjoys reading, baking and shopping. She also loves spending time with her family, boyfriend and their three dogs.
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