Springing into Learning with a Great Picture Book!

Help Middle School struggling readers understand key concepts of reading using picture books!  #teaching #reading

My fun new idea begins with a picture book.  In Middle School you ask?  Yes, most definitely!

My Middle School students still love picture books.  Not only do the students enjoy being read to but picture books make more complex topics and concepts easier to digest.

Since we have to prepare for our state reading test, I thought of a kinder, gentler way to accomplish this with this picture book:

Find out how I use this picture book to use to review main idea, cause and effect, compare and contrast & more!  #teaching #middleschool #languagearts #strugglingreaders

Picture books can help struggling readers in Middle School!  #teaching #languagearts

I will probably show the students this video of the book first:

After we have watched the video, then we will read the book.  Afterward, we will examine the book for main idea, cause and effect, and compare and contrast - at least!    This gives me a chance to review the kinds of questions they'll see on the state test but in an easy to understand sort of way.

Then, my students will practice their learning with these three reading skills with a choice board / menu:

Choice boards and Menus help differentiate the instruction for struggling readers!  #teaching #middleschool #languagearts

This choice board is great for differentiation, too!  I can assign students smaller or larger assignments as well as ensure that students can complete assignments that suit them best.

Plus now the students will have a frame of reference when they try to tackle bigger texts.  I can hear myself already... "Remember when we read Miss Rumphius and we compared and contrasted ourselves with Miss Rumphius?  Now we're going to do that with these new characters."

Then lastly, as part of our study, we simply must plant lupine seeds!  This is the quintessential spring activity, right?  My students will love it!

If you'd like to view the complete unit with all the templates for the interactive notebook foldables and drawing activities that you see in the choice board/menu, please click {here}.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I love this book and I love choice boards. What a great combination of the two!

    Heidi Raki

  2. I LOVE that you are using picture books in middle school! There is so much to learn from a good picture book and I know the kids love it too. I think the choice board is perfect- you could definitely do this with so many other books too!

  3. Love this idea, and I love choice menus! Thank you for sharing, and I am your newest follower. I found your blog via the blog hop (which I love!). I can't wait to read your future posts!

    Mind Sparks


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