Teaching the Six Traits through picture books

Teaching the Six Traits through picture books
Compiled by Heather Willman with help from Suzanne Lagerwaard and the
book Picture Books an Annotated Bibliography with Activities for Teaching
Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Van Allsburg.
This book is a great open-ended way to spark imagination and prompt writing. Try using
these pictures which also come in poster-sized prints available from the publisher.
I’m in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd.
How many of your students tell you they have nothing to write about. Nothing
interesting every happens to me. In this book, everyday happening are changed into
personal celebrations.
Miss Nelson is Back by Allard and Marshall.
Help your students experiment with adding suspense to their writing. See if they can
imitate the style of this book. Rewrite the story using a current teacher.
The Jolly Postman by Ahlberg
The jolly postman delivers letters to many in a fairytale kingdom. Have your students
guess who’s writing the letter. Write your own letter to a fairytale character.
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess
Each color has a voice and illustrations that go with it. Assignment: choose a color and
represent it with illustrations and words.
Alice the Fairy by David Shannon
Alice is only a temporary fairy. She has a bit of trouble with spells and often get locked
in the tower by the duchess (her mom). Have students try to write as a four year old and
imitate Shannon’s style.
Dear Mrs. LaRue by Teague. This hilarious book is written in the voice of a dog writing
from obedience school. Students can take the role of an animal or inanimate object and
write letters from this perspective.
The Amazing Pop Up Grammar Book by Maizels and Petty. This very cool book has tips
on nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, plurals and more.
Sentence Fluency
If I were in Charge of the World and other Worries by Viorst.
This is a great treasure of poetry! Viorst writes with humor and has a cadence and
rhythm that students can try to emulate.
Harlem by Myers.
This is an illustrated copy of Myers poem. You have to read this aloud to get the feel for
the great sentence fluency.
Word Choice
Up North at the Cabin by Chall.
The author choose excellent words to represent a topic many of your students will relate
The Old Woman who Named Things by Rylant and Brown. The old lady in the story has
outlived all of her friends. Now she only names things she know she can never outlive.
Students will have fun naming the objects in their lives.
Amos and Boris by Steig. This book has a great ending. You can use this to talk about
two important elements in writing, the beginning and the end.
The Seven Silly Eaters by Hoberman.
This family has seven children and they are all picky eaters. This book builds, child by
child. It would be good for analyzing the elements of a successful story.