A quick way to show students your values when you use picture books

 There's so much that's new swirling around them at the beginning of the year that students don't always remember what you've told them.  That's why repetition is so important!  But also why you can use other methods to share your values with them.  And picture books are one way.

What picture books teach kids and with pictures of 3 books

There are other ways that you can reinforce messages you want them to learn, and picture books are one of my favorite ways to do that.  Students learn a lot about you by the books you choose to read to them.

These books aren't typical "First Days of School" books, they're books with a more focused reading purpose.  So I use them over the first few weeks to introduce and discuss concepts I want in their toolkits. 

What do I want for my students?

I want my students to know that readers come in all shapes and sizes; everyone is unique and no comparisons need to be made. 

I want them to know that books are magical.

I want them to know that books take you to places you may never get to in real life.

I want them to know that books teach important life lessons.

And I want them to know the daily habits that make good readers.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, picture books
This is one of my favorite books and one of the few where I can't decide whether I like the video or the book better.  Both are so magical!  You can watch the video here.  Students often pick up on connections with The Wizard of Oz, which leads to great discussions.

What's important for them to know?

Let Me Finish picture book
This is a fun one and a quick read.  

It's VERY important that students understand that while we talk a lot about books together, the one thing we DON'T do is give away the endings.  We discuss the many ways we will talk about books during the year, independently, in small groups, or as a read-aloud.  We can talk about books all we want, but, out of respect for our fellow readers, we never give away the ending.

A summarizing freebie

I teach them how to summarize books for times when they'll present a book to the class.  We use the Somebody Wanted But So Then format.  For book commercials, they write out the entire summary (for my eyes only) but when they present to students, they stop at the "But."  
Somebody Wanted But So Then form
That takes kids close to the climax of the story.  Students who want to find out what happens need to read the book!  Click here if you'd like free graphic organizer for "Somebody Wanted But So Then"  with an accompanying video that helps explain it.

What kind of books will they find in my library?

Finally, I like to read Each Kindness.
Each Kindness picture book 

I have two purposes with this book.  I want students to think about how we treat each other, especially during these times when it's easy to be short-tempered with one another.  I also want to introduce them to protagonists who are people of color.

With these books, I want my students to know what I value as a reader and I hope they learn a little about themselves in the process, too.

Don't forget to get the summarizing freebie!

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