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The Children’s Picture Book Project
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Lesson Plan Type||Unit|
|Estimated Time||Eight 50-minute sessions|
Charleston, South Carolina
In this lesson students plan, write, illustrate, and publish their own children’s picture books. First, students review illustrated children’s books to gain an understanding of the creative process and the elements that help make a children’s book successful. Next, students use graphic organizers to brainstorm ideas for the character, setting, and conflict of their own stories. Students then pitch their stories to their peers and use peer feedback as they develop their stories. Students create storyboards to plan the relationship between the illustrations and text. Finally, students use a variety of methods to bind their books in an attractive manner and present their books to their peers.
Children's Book Review Guide: This handout contains instructions and guidelines for reviewing a children's picture book.
Story Map: Use this online tool to analyze the character, conflict, and setting of a picture book.
Plot Diagram: Students can use this online tool to plan the plot of their children's picture book.
Diana Mitchell explains why lesson plans that focus on children's literature are so successful in the classroom: "When picture books appear in a secondary classroom, students behave differently. They paw over the books, oohing and aahing at the illustrations, the colors, and the topics. Enthusiasm creeps into their talk. They become unabashedly interested in the books . . ." (86-87) Mitchell explains that eventually students question why they are being asked to work with "baby" books, but she asserts that these texts are useful tools in the classroom because they build literacy skills and excitement simultaneously. As she concludes, "Since this is one genre accessible to all of our students, the payoff in terms of what they learn is usually great."
Mitchell, Diana, and Leila Christenbury. 2000. Both Art and Craft: Teaching Ideas that Spark Learning. Urbana, IL: NCTE.