Picture Books Lesson Plans & Activities
— Jacqueline Kennedy
Welcome to our Picture Books Lesson Plans & Activities Page! Books and literature are important factors in early childhood education. Reading books are one of the key ways that we can foster future success in school as well as later in life. Enjoy our hands-on lesson plans and activities for some of our favorite books.
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A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein
A Giraffe and a Half is a classic book that will delight readers with it’s whimsy and charm. The rhymes are catchy and a wonderful introduction to poetry for the kids. If you had a giraffe . . . and he stretched another half . . . you would have a giraffe and a half. And so it goes until . . .
The kids love books by Mo Willems. The characters are engaging, the messages in the books are positive, and they are books that adults won’t mind reading again and again. The kids will have lots of fun with this Piggie and Elephant Sharing Shapes Activity.
Going to a new school can be scary for many children. Actually, starting anything new can make most of us a bit nervous. Why not enlist the help of a therapy dog and one of the best first day of school books? Lola Goes to School by Marcia Goldman introduces students to going to school, what it might be like, how to deal with feeling nervous, and making new friends. This adorable first day of school book will help many children feel more comfortable and ready for their first day of school.
The Pea Patch Jig is one of my new favorite books! I have been reading it to the kids at work and they all love the book. One child was having a tantrum (I wouldn’t let her eat paint.) so I went to the other side of the room and started reading The Pea Patch Jig. By the second page, she had stopped crying. By the third page, she came to sit next to me and by the fourth page, she had completely forgotten her distress and was fully engaged.
Children will identify with Lola as she nervously waits to be called into the doctor’s office. Check out our activity guide for free printables, activities and visual supports for non-verbal learners!
In brilliant images and an easy-to-understand text, Schwartz and Kuhn tell the story of what happens to a Jack O’Lantern after Halloween. Part story, part science, and a whole lot of fun.
“What do you do when your celebration needs a candle, but yours are all gone? You ask your neighbors if they have one to spare. A multicultural assortment of neighbors passes a squat, lumpy candle from apartment to apartment allowing for a host of winter holidays, celebrations, and family reunions to go on.”
Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? Young readers learn about numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors, they also learn about accepting each other’s differences.
“Two is best friends with One. Whenever they’d get the chance, they’d dance! What a pair they made! Suddenly One only wants to play with Three. “ONE, THREE, odds we’ll be!” they chant. Two feels left out. But what can she do? Another character-building counting book by award-winning author Kathryn Otoshi, Two is a powerful story of friendship, loss, letting go, and self-discovery.”
Splat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotten
Join Splat the Cat on a school trip to the zoo. Splat only wants to see the penguins. After all, penguins are perfect; they are black and white, just like Splat! All day long, Splat just can’t wait. But Splat goes home disappointed and alone . . . or does he?
Like most children, Sami puts off going to bed for as long as possible. A bedtime book that both parent and child will relish reading one more time, Don’t Turn the Page! features a surprise ending that reinforces the sense that it’s bedtime for everyone.
Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit!
The story is familiar and yet exotic at the same time. Children will delight in getting a peek at the setting of a fishing village in Viet Nam. The story is told from different perspectives.