December 11th 2020

Picture Books combine words and pictures in a book format and can be used by teachers in many and varied ways. 

They are often written for young children as a narrative and children follow the story by using the pictures as visual cues, even before they can read the words themselves. The pictures are colourful and engaging. 

As reading skills develop, children are often able to read the words themselves but still enjoy looking at the pictures.  They differ from cartoons where readers follow a sequence of pictures, while board books, concept books, counting books and alphabet books are all sub-genres of picture books. 

But as any teacher will tell you, it’s not the resource that is as important as how the teacher uses the resource to teach their students.  This is the art of teaching!

Picture books can be read to children and the pictures discussed with readers and non-readers alike. They can also be read by older children, once they become competent readers themselves. The nature of the language, rhythm and rhyme of the book can be discussed with emerging writers.

They can be used with learners of all ages to introduce a theme or medium including chalk, watercolours, oils, pencils etc, in an art class for example, or be used as inspiration for children to follow a pattern of language and write their own stories. 

Their pictures can reflect a time and a place that can be further researched by children or adults alike and their particular use of language can be used to introduce concepts of culture and new language to students from non-English speaking backgrounds. Picture books can bring enjoyment to learners of all abilities and all ages. 

While I enjoy reading novels, to sit with a child and embrace the warmth of enjoying a good picture book together, is my idea of the perfect shared experience!