Older students need picture books too!
Are children’s books useful for Middle and High School students? Yes. Yes, they are.
It is true that picture books are normally intended for younger students and small children.
However, that should not always be the case.
I believe there is still great value to older readers in reading children’s books.
Here are a few of my reasons:
Many children’s books are full of rich and interesting pictures.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures are an immediate conduit to emotional connection. If you want people to really engage with a topic show a picture from which a narrative can be inferred or imagined.
Children’s books are short.
Many of them can be read by older students in a single sitting and then be immediately discussed.
Children’s books tend to be more direct.
This is especially true for topics that don’t require in-the-weeds knowledge. Through a children’s book older students can quickly ingest just the important knowledge they need to begin asking their own questions.
Children’s books are not textbooks.
I always prefer teaching and learning from living books rather than textbooks. Through the inclusion of children’s books I can cover the same material as a textbook but from a range of different voices and experiences.
Children’s books are great for practicing analysis skills.
Because of its limited size, every facet of a picture book must be chosen with care, from the text to the illustrations to the cover. Therefore each feature brings something new and unique to the message.