One of the reasons that I love picture books is that they are often humorous and appeal to the sense of humor of our upper elementary students. The following books are perfect for teaching theme, plot, sequence, making connections, and more! They are fun and will serve a purpose in your classroom.
If you see any books that you don’t own, you can click the image to find them on Amazon!
President Taft is Stuck in the Bath
First, I learned so many things about President Taft that I didn’t know. I had to Google how big he was after reading this book.
In this hilarious book, President Taft gets stuck in the bath. His wife tries to offer a suggestion to help him, but he ignores her. Instead, he calls in the vice president and all of his secretaries to help him get out. They overthink the problem and struggle to get him out. Finally, they work together to get Taft out of the tub. This book is oddly funny, yet can be used to teach students to find theme. I believe that this book shows students not to overthink problems, not to ignore people who are offering helpful ideas, and to work together to solve problems. It is also a great way to show the plot structure of a story and identify the problem and solution.
The Good Egg
I really loved The Bad Seed, so when The Good Egg was published, I ordered it right away. I love it just as much. The Good Egg is great when teaching theme, describing characters, or if you need a story with a clear plot.
The Good Egg is trying so hard to help others make good choices that he cracks. He can’t take the pressure of perfection in himself and others. When he takes a relaxing vacation to work on himself, he realizes that he misses the rest of his crew, but that he needs to take care of himself first.
What is Floyd doing?! When his kite gets stuck, you won’t believe what he does. He throws one of his shoes to try to knock down the kite. The shoe gets stuck. He throws the other show into the tree. Stuck. He gets a ladder. He throws it into the tree. Stuck. He repeats this over and over again. You and your students will be rolling your eyes when you read the crazy things that he throws into the tree. You’ll be cracking up once the kite finally falls out of the tree and you see what Floyd does.
While this book is more hilarious than academic, it is perfect for using to help students practice questioning. After all, I questioned every. single. thing. What is he thinking? Why would he do that? How isn’t anyone noticing this?
This book is also full of LONG sentences as he repeatedly throws things into the tree. It almost reminds me of The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. The sentences would be perfect as a lesson in making corrections to their writing.
Nerdy Birdy Tweets
This book is silly and sweet at the same time. It shares the perfect lesson on a topic that is totally relevant to our upper elementary kids. Nerdy Birdy discovers Tweetster. As she is busy making five hundred new Tweetster friends, she doesn’t realize how much she is driving away the only true friend that he had. It is a great book for teaching or reviewing theme and finding evidence to support their conclusions.
We all know someone who can not. stop. talking. Maybe it is a student. Maybe it’s your own child. For your students, maybe it is their sibling or a classmate. Either way, I think we can ALL relate and make connections while reading about Wordy Birdy’s lesson in listening. This book is perfect for teaching students to make connections, outline a plot structure, or find a theme.
The Book with No Pictures
Some books can just be read for pleasure. Some books don’t need a reading skill or a purpose. This book is just written to embarrass the reader and make the listeners laugh!
The only word used in this entire book is DUDE, yet there are seriously so many things that you can do with this book. You could use it to talk about punctuation and how your voice changes depending on a period, question mark, or exclamation mark. There are also amazing themes hidden in the book, such as learning to not jump to conclusions and helping those around you. I also think it is absolutely perfect for students to practice making predictions and inferences.
This book is just FUN to read aloud! Squid has five reasons why he should be the president. He wears a tie, has the biggest house ever, he’s famous, he likes to talk, and he would be good at being the BIG BOSS! Once he meets a Sardine, his thoughts change. Whether those changes are for good or not…🤷🏻♀️
It’s a silly book that my students LOVED having read aloud. We used this book to talk about a story told in the first person point of view, but you could also use it to review sequence, making predictions or synthesis.
If you are interested in the graphic organizers that I used in the pictures for Mentor Texts, you can find them in my TpT store, by clicking here. Included in the file, you find both digital and printable versions of each graphic organizer!