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Teaching is great – it really is, but nothing excites me quite like finding great picture books to read aloud to students. There’s something so magical about getting to share your love of reading with the children you work with and seeing their excitement as they discover a new favorite book!

Let’s take a look at a couple of pictures book titles and classroom activities you can use today!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

This adorable picture book is sure to keep your students laughing as they hear about a dragon’s favorite things: tacos, parties and especially taco parties! But beware – if you aren’t careful with the ingredients you could be left with an explosive ending to the story.

One of the best things about this book is the rich descriptive language found throughout. Teachers are always looking for authentic ways to connect writing skills with reading and this book does that seamlessly.

Here’s a few ideas for using this picture book with your students:

  • Have students discuss the descriptive language during an interactive read aloud – how does the author create strong mental images in our head through the vocabulary he chooses?
  • Pull lines of text to use as grammar mentor sentences – have students work on identifying adjectives or figurative language 
  • Rewrite the ending – encourage students to rewrite the ending (or ANY parts of the story) using different adjectives and descriptive language 

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

In a quiet house, in a cozy bed, there is a granny sleeping – but it doesn’t take long before she is joined by a pile of other sleepy guests. Just when we think there isn’t any room left for another napper, a flea comes along and causes quite the commotion!

The repetitive style of this book is sure to keep your young readers on the edge of their seat trying to guess what’s coming next. A close look at the humorous illustrations will draw in older students!

Here’s some suggestions on fun ways to incorporate this classic picture book into your classroom:

  • Review story elements – have students use a story map or graphic organizer to identify the characters, setting, and plot 
  • Work on sequencing – students can draw or write out the order of the characters who join granny in the cozy bed. Encourage them to use sequencing words like first, next, then, etc.
  • Create their own story – have students mimic the author’s repetitive style of writing to come up with their own story!

These read aloud picture books are included in the Visual Book Companions set for May (but they're winners anytime of year!). The visuals support all learners with language prompts while applying their comprehension skills for each book. Take a closer look:

Which picture book idea will you try first?

Hi there.

I'm Jennifer!

I’m Jennifer and I was a special educator in the elementary school setting over the past decade. I entered the classroom every day dedicated to making learning inclusive AND engaging.

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