Choosing Picture Books for the Classroom
As a former elementary teacher, my first goal when dreaming up the Blooming Rose series was that the stories could be used as engaging read-alouds and then seamlessly transitioned into beyond the text enrichment, both in the classroom or at home.
From a teacher’s perspective, I loved choosing stories that bridged the gap between academic demands and the emotional support so many of my students needed. We know teaching a student starts with a basis of trust, understanding and connection, because without those foundations put in place (and quickly), we truly can’t reach some of our struggling kiddos on any level. So, any time a story can make a relatable issue, a struggling obstacle, or a vulnerable situation seem normal, ok and welcome to discuss in a classroom setting is really where that real bond can form.
…teaching a student starts with a basis of trust, understanding and connection…
Academic supplements are also helpful to help reinforce, guide and build upon those concepts from the story. I strive to create ready-to-use academic materials in our Beyond the Text Bundles that go along with each of our stories so that teachers have an easy option for continuing these conversations even after the story is done. Not only are there leveled exercises is reading comprehension, vocabulary building and writing prompts, but I also added in character building activities, STEM projects and take-home crafts so teachers can tailor their lessons for their specific needs.
As an author I didn’t really see a lot of academic level materials that came directly from the author or publisher, although there are many teacher-created resources on useful websites like TeachersPayTeachers.com. If you’re an author, and especially teacher-authors, I highly recommend taking a couple extra steps to create some meaningful activities or exercises to go along with your book, that will not only strike a chord with educators, but also provide enrichment for parents or caregivers at home as well.
For more information about Lauren Piland and a chance to win her new book, visit Book Review + Giveaway: Blooming Rose Blasts Off!