Friday, 27 July 2018

5 Picture Books to Spark Imagination

As a teacher, I get way more excited about children’s books than is socially acceptable. Any other teachers out there will understand, right? Books can lead to some of the best learning, most fun and engage the most unlikely of students. Books have many different purposes, and today I’m sharing my top 5 to promote imagination in the classroom. 

I absolutely love this story and kids get so completely engaged in it. It’s about a boy who gets sick of his little brother so decided to climb into the empty box of the washing machine that has just been delivered. He designs and crafts and eventually he has a machine that will transport him to different places. He visits pirates, rides on a roller coaster and flies into space. Eventually he realises he’s a little lonely and misses his play companion. 

This is such a fantastic book to get children’s imagination going as they think about the places they would fly to and what they would do there. It’s also a lovely book to get children designing and crafting; it’s amazing how creative they can get!

Another of my favourites! Albie hates to garden and it super grumpy when his mum makes him. After planting the seeds he goes to bed, but when he wakes up there is a jungle outside, filled with dinosaurs who chase him. He manages to escape and when he checks the seed packet he realised he planted dinosaur seeds. He’s just safely got home and his mum shouts of him to plant more seeds. He looks at the packet and sees aliens on the front…

A great story for children interested in dinosaurs as they explore the jungle with Albie. I love the ending of the story as it allows children’s imagination to go wild. They could explore space, completely from their imagination as the story plants the seed but nothing more, or they could plant their own seed of absolutely anything they want; the opportunities are endless.

Kids love this book, particularly because they get to put their finder into the page, and into the food. The book is filled with different foods and in each food there is some form of monster or animal, such as the ‘spaghetti-yeti’ and the ‘meringue-utan.’ It’s repetitive too, so great for EAL learners and young children. 

Such a fantastic book that you can do so much with. Kids love getting actual food out and sticking their fingers in. Kids can use their imagination to create animals or monsters in the different foods and even develop their own stories with them.

 It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton
Liam wanted something exciting in the mail so he wrote a letter. As soon as he put his letter in the mail, the mailbox began to make lots of strange noises. When he looked inside he found a fire-breathing dragon! He continued to write to his mail box requesting more mail and he got all sorts of things each day. It also has a lovely ending as he shares his mail with the other children. 

It’s amazing the ideas that children have about what they would like to arrive in their mail box. You can get so much from this story, with the children writing letters of what they would like, to the weird and wonderful things they would find. It’s great to have a special mail box in the classroom so children can find unusual things to spark their imagination as well as make their own things to go inside.

The perfect book to take a young child on an adventure. The story is repetitive so children can easily engage and participate. The characters hop on the train which takes them to lots of different places, from the jungle to under the sea. Each time they hop back on the train and repeat the repetitive lines of the story before arriving at a new destination. 

Similar to The Nowhere Box, this story is great to get children’s imagination going by talking about where the train would take them. They come up with some incredibly unique ideas of places they would like to visit.  They could also change the form of transport and create their own transport systems to travel in. 

I’ve used all 5 of these books in my classroom and have absolutely loved the outcome. I love nothing more than letting children explore their creativity and these books do just that. Some of the favourite lessons I have ever taught have come from these books as an initial motivation. 

What books are your favourite for sparking children’s imagination? Share them in the comments below...

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