What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
Today is Leo Lionni's birthday.
|Grades||K – 3|
|Calendar Activity Type||Author & Text|
As a child growing up in Holland, Leo Lionni taught himself how to draw. He earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Genoa, but began his career as an author and illustrator of children's books in 1959. His first book Little Blue and Little Yellow came from a story written for his grandchildren during a boring train ride. He is the winner of four Caldecott awards.
After reading several of Lionni's stories, play the game Guess the Story. Invite a student to pull a sentence strip that describes one of Lionni's messages from a box. (Older students can create the sentence strips in collaborative groups.) Students should explain what the message means and the book it is from. Some suggested messages include the following:
- Let's work together.
- Take time to smell the roses.
- You are never alone when you have a friend.
- Don't take your family for granted.
- Everybody is special.
- Be happy with who you are.
As a follow-up, have your students write and illustrate their messages with the ReadWriteThink Stapleless Book.
- 100 Years of Leo Lionni
This site gives an excellent introduction to children in grades K through 5 about Leo Lionni’s life, his art work, and his children’s books. The site includes excellent printable activities and videos of Lionni’s art making process.
This article, titled "Smithsonian Notable Books for Children, 1997" describes the life and works of Leo Lionni.
- American Institute of Graphic Arts Biography: Leo Lionni
This page provides information about Leo Lionni's life and learns how experiences and events in his life influenced on his work.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
In this author study, students listen to and discuss four books by Leo Lionni. They identify similarities and differences in the stories and then compare two stories of their choice.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Minilesson
Did she walk, skip, amble, dance? In this minilesson, students explore connotation by acting out and revising the simple sentence "She walked into the room."
Grades K – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
In this series of four lessons, students will explore key elements of design in Little Blue and
Little Yellow to learn about setting, character relationships, and plot.