Picture Books

On Teachers and Children’s Books

Last night marked our last face to face meeting in one of my master’s classes in gifted education. Since our topic was on how emotional intelligence can be enhanced in the classroom, I brought along an entire baggage filled with children’s picture books. The task was how to apply the emotional intelligence framework (of Joyce VanTassel-Baska) to an actual classroom activity utilizing the books that they selected.

The class was divided into four teams – since the emotional intelligence framework involved four major areas (including 1: study of emotion; 2. channeling emotion to promote thinking; 3. developing and applying emotional knowledge; and 4. regulation of emotions) – thus four sample lessons/ activities/ workshops.

Here are some of their choices.

Tony DiTerlizzi's The Spider and the Fly and Tight Times by Jeanette Patindol and Sergio Bumatay
Math Curse by the hilarious duo Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
The Story Dance by Barbara Satterfield and Fran Gregory
The Ghost of Shanghai by Claude Guillot and Fabienne Burckel; Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
Colin Thompson's The Last Alchemist and Shaun Tan's The Arrival
The remaining books that were not chosen - perhaps they failed to "speak" to these teachers in some way or another

It was truly such a pleasure seeing how these hardworking and talented teachers are able to use these wonderful picture books to identify and deal with their high ability learners’ issues and concerns. More importantly, it gives me such a warm feeling knowing that two of my passions (teaching and children’s books) complement each other so beautifully. Til next semester!

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “On Teachers and Children’s Books

  1. Jack Sorenson

    “Wow” how exciting- what a great Idea,Great post.



    • myragarcesbacsal

      Thanks Jack – I always try to blend what I know with what I am doing so that there is wonderful continuity. =)


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