Sometimes speakers make you want to write. Last week when I listened to Lester Laminack was one of those times.
The North TX Council of Teachers of English Language Arts one-day conference was one week ago today. As president I had the honor of calling the meeting to order, and looking out at the audience of almost 600 ELA teachers, grades K-12, I could not help but think how fortunate the children in Texas are to have such dedicated teachers, teachers who want to help kids write, teachers who practice writing themselves.
Listening to Lester’s keynote as he talked about his writing process made my memories swirl, and my fingers get itchy.
I was not the only one.
I left wondering: What if more teachers stirred that kind of memory moment in the students we want to move as writers?
Picture books have that power. Elementary teachers know this. They read books aloud to little writers. They talk about meaning around moments their students can relate to.
Sometimes I think we secondary teachers forget the power in stories. We forget that seemingly simple things can spark big thinking. I want to remember.
Here’s a list of 15 of the books I will read with my not-so-little writers in the coming year:
Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack
All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis
Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg
I Want my Hat Back by Jon Klassen
It’s a Book by Lane Smith
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
The Secret Olivia Told Me by N. Joy
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzburg
And I’ll probably use several of these: wordless picture books
Please share your suggested titles for picture books you use in your secondary classroom.