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Teaching with Picture Books Throughout the Curriculum - Written Reaction

2 min read

Why does Peggy Agostino Sharp think that picture books can be used to teach various subjects? 


Throughout Sharp's article, Teaching with Picture Books Throughout the Curriculum, she explained her thoughts on the importance of using picture books in the classroom with all age groups. Sharp went into great detail about the versatility of picture books, in that, how they can be utilized in the classroom to touch upon important concepts in other educational subjects. 

The multitude of components that picture books offer helps educators explain to students through a visual lens about various subjects. For instance, Sharp discussed how visual literacy skills are enhanced through teaching with picture books by using books that display the same images that change inversely from beginning to end. She also explained how picture books can increase the comprehension and awareness of identifying literary elements in a story. One example from the text relating to this idea that I found really striking was Leo Lionni's book, Swimmy.  Sharpe described how Lionni displayed the literary element of mood throughout his picture by illustrating some images as "light and airy" when the main character was spending time with friends and others as "dark and somber" when the main character was alone. Another subject that Sharp explained could be taught through utilizing a picture book is mathematics. An example she shared that is an effective tool to teach a young audience about simple numeral operations and sets is the book, Anno's Counting House, by Mitsumasa Anno. In this book, the author has characters move themselves and their belongings from one house to another. Readers must use their counting skills to ensure that nothing and no one was left behind in the previous house. These are just three of the many subjects that can be taught with the help of picture books. Picture books provide readers with a sense of deeper understanding and imaginiation. Picture books give students a foundation in reading that will help them be thoughtful and critical readers throughout their lives.