Favorite Picture Books

     A picture book that I utilize each school year is Ox Cart Man, a 1980 Caldecott winner, by Donald Hall.  The story is about a family working year round to provide for themselves.  The story portrays the family growing, gathering, and selling items at the market.  Once the father has earned the money, he then purchases necessities for the family.  During the Social Studies/Reading block is an opportune time to incorporate this beautifully written and illustrated book.  The repetitive nature of the events in the story engage the young readers and allow for the children to join in the reading.  The story allows for topics such as producer/consumer, goods/services, and human/capital/natural resources to be examined and discussed.  

     Another wonderfully illustrated and written picture book that I use during the school year is Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon.  The fantasy story is about an adorable fruit bat, Stellaluna, who sadly gets separated from her mother at a very young age.  Stellaluna does not know how to survive like a bat and is adopted by a bird family.  The family of birds teach Stellaluna how to do bird things which adds a humorous side to the picture book.  The picture book is incorporated into our Reading/Science lessons. First, the class investigates varieties of bats by reading non-fictional materials such as books and specific websites to discover this information.  Then, the class presents their findings on the various bats before we actually read Stellaluna.  Literature circles are then created to read, enjoy, and share thoughts about the picture book.     

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