Picture Book Evaluation Project

Today, I posted one of my favorite 2-week reading units on Teachers Pay Teachers! 

 The only prep work it takes is to gather enough quality picture books for every student in your class.  My book lists contain many of the picture books that I have used in the past for this project.  Check with your local library to see if you can request books to be put on hold for you because it seriously makes it soooo easy.  I just search for the books I want to use, place them on hold, and hop into the library once they are ready to be picked up. 

I love using picture books to practice analyzing the author's craft and to review literature key terms because I can easily choose nonfiction picture books for students based on reading level and interest and then we all can share and learn about a variety of topics! And let's be honest, there are so many great picture books these days that truly are geared for older audiences.  But even if they aren't, doesn't everyone enjoy reading and viewing a beautifully crafted picture book? 

Something you can add to the unit, as a warm-up perhaps, is a brainstorm about what features should be considered when evaluating literature.  One small group in my 7th-grade class came up with this list after about 5 minutes of brainstorming! I was very impressed with what they came up with!

Here are a few examples of how my students have completed the evaluation tasks! In the future, I plan to have the students color-code their parts of speech (I use a color-coding sentence diagramming system) so I can tell which word they are referring to when they analyze a "powerful word" in a mentor sentence.