Recently, I was conferring with some of my readers during reading workshop, and when I sat down next to one student she looked up from what she was reading and said, “It’s a picture book kinda day.” She was thoroughly absorbed in the book, The Little Red Pen, by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.
I asked her what drew her to a picture book today. She answered, “I just finished Book Two in the Tale Dark and Grimm series and I needed a break. I needed something light. And when I read this book, Ms. Johansen, I was literally laughing to myself.”
I asked her what she found funny about the book. She said, “Well there’s this push pin and in one part of the story he’s got to pull. But of course all the other office supplies yell at him because he pushes instead. So he answers, ‘I am a PUSH pin!’ Hahaha isn’t that so funny?!”
I love moment like these. They remind me of the many reasons why students of all ages need picture books in their readerly lives. They appreciate the humor, characters, and experience that is unique to reading picture books.
After sharing this moment with my student, I wanted to write this blog post. It serves as a reminder to me that although it is no longer #Nationalpicturebookmonth, I want to keep picture book reading alive in my classroom for the entire school year. I want this because everyone should feel the freedom and enthusiasm to have a “Picture Book Kinda Day” any day. #LovePictureBooks #PictureBooksforAllAges
Typically found wearing mismatched socks, Dana Johansen spends her time teaching fifth grade in Connecticut, negotiating with her yellow lab about doggy dinner options, and plopping down on the floor in bookstore aisles to find new reads. She has taught elementary and middle school for fourteen years. Dana is a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University where she studies blended learning in reading and writing workshop.