Fresh Air

“A picture book is a small door to the enormous world of the visual arts, and they’re often the first art a young person sees.” Tomie dePaola

Heart-a-Day #20: Reverse Bubbles

Our Scholastic book orders arrived today. This time, I ordered two fiction books about narwhales and their resemblance to unicorns. You see, unicorns are my latest spirit animal (and will probably soon be joined by narwhales). As an aside, even though you probably already know this, a narwhale is a small Arctic whale. The males have a long forward-pointing spirally twisted tusk growing from one of its teeth. Now, back to the subject: Getting new books is like fresh air in the classroom. I love figuring out how I can incorporate them into our curriculum. When I show excitement about books, the students become excited. With the narwhales, I remember that I have another book about a horse that wants to be a unicorn. Good pairing. This goes beyond a reading lesson. Perhaps we’ll write our own story about narwhales and unicorns. Maybe we’ll create math problems around different kinds of whales. What if we design and build a life size model of a narwhale out of recycled materials? Of course, we’ll draw and decorate our own versions of fantasy unicorn narwhales. I love breathing this fresh air.

Which books are you excited to share with your students? How do these books inspire you and your class? New books and creative applications are everyone’s fresh air. Take a breath…and teach!


(Access to these photographs does not constitute a transfer of copyright or a license for commercial use.  The images are for personal use only.  No portion of the images can be used without the expressed written permission of Michael B. Stanley, Jr.)

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I am an artist, musician, author and kindergarten teacher wanting to share what I have learned about teaching and making art.

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