#2ndaryELA Chat Summary: Picture Books in the Secondary Classroom

March 19, 2016

Middle and High School English Language Arts teachers discussed using picture books in the secondary classroom: purposes, benefits, and favorite titles. Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter.

This #2ndaryELA Twitter chat was all about using children's literature in the secondary ELA classroom. Middle and High School English Language Arts teachers discussed using picture books in the secondary classroom: purposes, benefits, and favorite titles. The highlights are below.

Lesson ideas using picture books:
*Teach literary elements like theme, characterization
*Teach a lesson with a manageable text before wrestling it in a novel
*Examine as mentor texts
*Use to introduce, summarize, or synthesize content in a social studies unit
*Give students exposure to authors craft, style, vocabulary
*The combination of visual and text to communicate a message allows for inferring based on images before reading the text
*Use as a lead in to a graphic novel genre study
*Writing lessons like this one on point of view in which students rewrite fairy tales
*Introduce an idea and then read a more complex text to learn further. 
*Introduce primary sources
*Practice read skills like inferring, vocabulary in context, visualizing
*Use on the very first day as the very first thing students are part of, allow them to pick which one they'll listen to
*Demonstrate what readers do in a whole text with out having to read a whole novel
*Write non-fiction picture books for students around the world
*Practice speaking skills (diction, inflection, timing)
*Prompt quick writes
*Discuss controversial topics
*Build background knowledge
*Write a children's book version of a novel as a summative assignment
*Teach the signposts from Notice and Note
*Create a text set based on a theme, i.e. characters who have a disability/challenge, looking beyond bias
 http://Students rewrite fairy tales
Benefits of using picture books in secondary classrooms:
*Foster a love of reading with older students
*Invite complex thinking
*Bring laughter in the classroom
*Shorter texts are more accessible for struggling readers & ESL students
*Make the lesson available to everyone regardless of their reading level
*Invite complex discussion with older students
*Peak student interest in a unit with a great picture book
*Build classroom community, especially when we only teach kids for 45 minutes
*Create a feeling of belonging, safety
*Have picture books on display in your room for students to read means that kids can stop worrying about their "levels" of books
*Reread and read closely painlessly
*Nostalgic for secondary students
*Remind our students that reading is meant to be fun
*Invite students into a world that is interesting
*Allow students to feel more confident in higher reads
*Give students the opportunity to show their creativity and make a meaningful connection to what they are learning
*Tool for auditory and visual learners
*Students, regardless of age, enjoy being read to

Recommended picture book titles:
*Teammates by Peter Golenbock
*Faithful Elephants
*The Secret Life of Grown Ups
*The Matchbox Diary
*Emmanuel's Dream
*Hannah's Suitcase (topic: the Holocaust)
*anything by Shaun Tan
*anything by Jon Klassen
*Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
*The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde and illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
*anything by Maurice Sendak
*anything by Patricia Polacco (history connections)
*The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (topic: Reconstruction)
*The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier
*Henry's Freedom Box
*Pink & Say
*An Angel for Solomon Singer by Rylant
*The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Joyce
*Patrol by Myers
*Be A Friend
*The Night Gardener
*The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
*anything by Oliver Jeffers
*So Few of Me by Peter Reynolds
*Terrible Things by Eve Bunting (allegory of the Holocaust)
*Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
*African Beginnings (topic: early civilizations in Africa)
*What Do You Do With an Idea? (makerspace connection)
*The Most Magnificent Thing (makerspace connection)
*Ish (makerspace connection)
*One Well (topic: social justice)
*If the World were a Village (topic: social justice)
*The Carpet Boys Gift (topic: social justice)
*Squids will be Squids (topic: friendship)
*Bluebird by Bob Staake (teaching inference)
*The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig (topics: friendship, loneliness)
*The Wall: Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain
*The Girl in Red
*The Wolves Behind the Walls
*Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka
*But I Read it on the Internet (topic: evaluating sources)
*A Horse's Tale: Ten Adventures in 100 Years (topic: primary sources)
*The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (for what-if conversations and writing starters)
*The World That Jack Built by Ruth Brown (for modeling use of mood, tone, development of characters, topic: environmental impact of humans)
*Remember by Toni Morrison (topic: school desegregation)
*The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson (companion text for To Kill a Mockingbird)
*Baseball Saved Us

Hope you'll join us next Tuesday March 22nd at 8pm EST to talk about teaching Shakespeare & other dramas. We'd also love for you to join our 2ndaryELA Facebook group (even if you aren't on Twitter). 2ndaryELA is a group of middle and high school English Language Arts teachers looking to share ideas and best practices. This group is an extension of our Twitter chat and a place for collaboration, questions, and encouragement. Feel free to post teaching ideas, success stories, resource links, photos, etc. that will enhance our instruction. 

If you missed this most recent chat, scroll down and read the whole thing below.

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