How To Select A Picture Book For Your Classroom

A picture is worth a thousand words, so pick your books carefully.

Today, I came across an interesting article from the Middle School Journal.  Click here for the full article.  The title of the article is A Middle School Teacher’s Guide for Selecting Picture Books by Bill Costello and Nancy J. Kolodziej. The article discussed how to select picture books to supplement concepts and content that is taught in classroom. The reason why this is important is to give students a chance to, “Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.”  This quote is from the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Costello and Kolodziej suggest when selecting a picture book for the middle school level think about the following…

  • Your enthusiasm for a book
  • The purpose of the book
  • The book itself
  • Books ability to achieve the objective of your lesson
  • Does the book have multi-discipline areas?
  • Books intensity of information
  • Ability to meet high standards
  • Portrayal of diversity

 Critical Elements for Language Arts

  • Does the book convey literary devices and model creative writing?

 Critical Elements for Social Studies

  • Does the book portray characters that are realistic?

 Critical Elements for Science

  • Does the visual images help learn content and concepts?

 Critical Elements for Mathematics

  • Does the book explain concepts that are illustrated and off suggestions for students to understand the concepts?

Personally, I have found that my middle school students like to pick up picture books and look through them.  For my students it gives them a break from text only learning.  They enjoy looking at the pictures and for some of my students they enjoy reminiscing and revisiting something familiar that they know.


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