Tag Archives: perspective

Creative Thinking Prompt: Animal Letter Writing

Prairie Dog
Creative Thinking Prompt: Animal Letter Writing

Look around your environment.

What types of animals of might live here?

Choose one animal to study.

Pretend to be that animal.

Write a letter to your best friend who is another animal in a different country.

Explain what is like to live where you live, what do you eat, how do you get food, what’s your home like, who are your “friends,” what’s your favorite thing to do, etc. Include a picture of yourself and your name. You could mail your letter to a friend or a family member and see if they write you back as an animal.

ACTUAL SIZE

Actual Size”

Actual Size written and illustrated by Steven Jenkins brings readers face to face with the actual size of an animal’s physical trait. Some featured animals and their traits in this book are a bear’s head, a dwarf goby fish, an anteater’s tongue, and a crocodile’s snout.

Readers can visually compare themselves to the animal by placing their hand against the page to compare and contrast similarities and differences.

Each page informs about the animal’s length, height and/or weight. Back matter includes facts about each animal.

This book promotes creative non-fiction, imagination, and discovery.

TITLE: Actual Size

AUTHOR: Steve Jenkins

ILLUSTRATOR: Steve Jenkins

PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004

AGE GROUP: 4-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative nonfiction, imagination, discovery

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick an animal and one of its body parts that you can compare and contrast. Draw that part to its actual size. This activity could also be made into a classroom book.

2) How could you creatively present information about your favorite animal? With a group of friends pick different animals to research. Then write a play or song using the facts you learned. Present your play.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Steve Jenkins, visit:

http://www.stevejenkinsbooks.com

The Catawampus Cat

The Catawampus Cat

The new cat enters the town walking askew.

The grocer and his wife try to straighten out the cat but to no avail. They wonder what is wrong with the cat. “Maybe he’s noticing something.” So they tilt their heads and discover something.

As the tilted cat strolls through town, people discover they can see better from different angles. Soon the entire town has gone askew. Then the cat stretches and straightens himself out, once again catawampus.

This book promotes originality, perspective, and being unique.

TITLE: The Catawampus Cat

AUTHOR: Jason Carter Eaton

ILLUSTRATOR: Gus Gordon

PUBLISHER: Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017

AGE GROUP: 6-9

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: originality, perspective, unique

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Brainstorm ways to see the world around you differently by asking how else might I see things around me.

Here are a few thoughts to get you started:

ride a Tilt-a-Whirl

spin on a Sit-and-Spin slow and fast

use a protractor to create an image from multiple angles

hang upside down from the monkey bars at the playground

2) Grab a dictionary and find unusual words. Make a list of these uncommon words with their definitions. Choose one of the words to create a character and/or story.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Jason Carter Eaton, visit:

http://www.candlewick.com/book_files/0763663077.ban.1.pdf

To learn more about illustrator Gus Gordon, visit:

http://www.gusgordon.com

Creative Thinking Prompt: An Egg of Ideas

Creative Thinking Prompt: An Egg of Ideas

◊  Go on an egg hunt for ideas. Make a list of subjects. Write each subject on a small piece of paper. Fill the plastic eggs with the papers. Hide the eggs. After the egg hunt, students make a list of “I wonder” questions that interest them about the subject in each egg. Use the 5W1H creative thinking technique – who, what, when, where, why and how.

◊  What else can an egg be? Brainstorm for at least ten minutes. Circle the most unusual idea.

◊  In what ways might an egg be used? Brainstorm for at least ten minutes.

◊  Decorate an egg in a way that disguises the egg.

◊  Write a short story about an adventure that an egg might have from the viewpoint of the egg.

◊  Invent a game using plastic eggs.

These activities encourage curiosity, flexible thinking, perspective, and imagination.

Tomorrow’s Alphabet

Tomorrow’s Alphabet”

In Tomorrow’s Alphabet, you’ll have to think ahead. Not your ordinary alphabet storybook, author George Shannon takes a different perspective, taking what happens today and showing what it becomes tomorrow.

   

M is for caterpillar – tomorrow’s MOTH.”

  

O is for acorn – tomorrow’s OAK TREE

In the back of the book, readers are challenged to create their own tomorrow alphabet. Or try their hand at creating yesterday’s alphabet.

This book promotes discovery, different perspective, and inventive thinking.

TITLE: Tomorrow’s Alphabet

AUTHOR: George Shannon

ILLUSTRATOR: Donald Crews

PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books, 1996

AGE GROUP: 4-7

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, different perspective, inventive thinking

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Make an ABC list of your favorite sounding words. Your words can begin or end with each letter of the alphabet.

For example, A – apricot B – bumble C – cubic

2) Sing the ABC song in reverse, beginning with Z.

3) Write an ABC poem of your favorite things, using each letter to start the next line of your poem.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author George Shannon, visit:

http://www.georgeshannonauthor.com

To learn more about illustrator Donald Crews, visit:

http://www.kidsreads.com/authors/donald-crews

They All Saw A Cat

What do you see when a cat crosses your path? In the book, They All Saw A Cat, different characters’ perspectives open readers’ imaginations to think about how things can be perceived and how we can affect our world.

Here’s how a worm sees the cat.

Here’s how a bee sees the cat.

Brendan Wenzel’s delightful illustrations portray the perspectives a person, a dog, a worm, and a bat as the cat crosses their paths. Wenzel even includes how the cat sees himself.

This book promotes different perspectives, curiosity, and originality.

TITLE: They All Saw A Cat

AUTHOR: Brendan Wenzel

ILLUSTRATOR: Brendan Wenzel

PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books, 2016

AGE GROUP: 4-6

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: perspective, originality, curiosity

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) What do you see when you see a tree? What does a fly view a tree? A bird? A squirrel? A worm? An ant? How might a kite view a tree?

2) To see things differently, try doing these things.

– look through a telescope or binoculars

– look through a microscope or magnifying glass

– look through color-tinted sunglasses

– look through a paper towel or toilet paper tube

– look to your left

– look to your right

– stand on your head

How does your view of the world change as you look through these items? How can you use these different viewpoints to help solve problems?

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel, visit:

http://brendanwenzel.info

“A Poke In The I: A Collection of Concrete Poems”

apokeinthei
“A Poke In The I: A Collection of Concrete Poems

In A Poke In The I, Paul Janeczko selected thirty concrete poems. Concrete poems, sometimes called shape poems, are when the words or letters are arranged into the shape of the object that the poem is about, further enhancing the message the poem is imparting.

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© A Seeing Poem by Robert Fromon

For me, concrete poems are poetry for my eyes.

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© GIRAFFE by Maureen W. Amour

According to illustrator Chris Raschka, “Concrete poetry is the yoga of words.” In this book, his illustrations add further depth to each poet’s poem.

pokeinip1

© MERGING TRAFFIC by Allen Jones

This poetry book promotes flexible thinking, imagination, wonder, and different perspectives.

TITLE: A Poke In The I

Selected by: Paul B. Janeczko

ILLUSTRATOR: Chris Raschka

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2001

AGE GROUP: 5-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: flexible thinking, imagination, wonder, different perspectives

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Write a concrete poem about concrete. Using the words or the letters to shape your poem. Get creative and use different fonts to help convey your poem. What message do you want your poem to express to readers?

To learn more about writing concrete poems, visit:

http://www.poetry4kids.com/news/how-to-write-a-concrete-poem/

2) Choose a compound word to write a concrete poem about.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about poet Paul B. Janeczko, visit:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/heres-thing-q-paul-b-janeczko/

To learn more about illustrator Chris Raschka, visit:

http://www.prhspeakers.com/speaker/chris-raschka

I’m Trying To Love Spiders

imtryingtolovespiderscover

A creative non-fiction book, I’m Trying To Love Spiders, combines facts about spiders and author Bethany Barton’s journey of overcoming her fear of spiders.

imtryingtolovespiderspg1 ©Bethany Barton

In regards to her perspective on spiders, Bethany Barton stated, “I want to think of them as bug ninjas.” She believes that she shouldn’t be afraid of them since spiders do good things for the world. Did you know that a single spider can eat over 75 pounds of bugs in a year?

imstilltyringtolovespiderspg2 ©Bethany Barton

Humorous illustrations accompany spider facts.

This story promotes humor, combination – facts with imagination, and a different perspective.

TITLE: I’m Trying To Love Spiders

AUTHOR: Bethany Barton

ILLUSTRATOR: Bethany Barton

PUBLISHER: Viking, 2015

AGE GROUP: 4-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: humor, combination – facts with imagination, and different perspective

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick an animal that you don’t like. Research that animal. Discover at least five facts that you find good (positive) about it. Having learned these new facts, how does it change your perception about the animal? Remember even if you still don’t like the animal, you can appreciate and respect it.

2) Make a variety of homemade spiders.

spider-handprint Handprint spider.

Egg carton with pipe cleaner spider. egg-carton-spider

donut-pretzel-spiders-halloween-easy-fun-kid-craft Doughnut and pretzel spider. To easily make these, visit: http://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/2014/09/24/easy-mini-donut-spiders-easy-halloween-treat-kids-can-make.html#_a5y_p=2500159

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Bethany Barton, visit:

http://www.bethanybarton.com

Red Sings From Treetops

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“Red Sings From Treetops”

“In Spring, Red sings from treetops. Red squirms on the road after rain. Green peeks from buds. While sounds like storms.” – Joyce Sidman

Written in beautiful lyrical verse, Red Sings From Treetops, a Caldecott Honor Book, explores nature as colors throughout the span of a year.

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Through Joyce Sidman’s vivid sensory language and the gorgeous illustrative work of Pamela Zagarenski, readers’ senses are fully engaged as well as their critical thinking skills.

This story promotes analogical thinking, flexible thinking, imagination, and critical thinking.

TITLE: Red Sings From Treetops, A Year in Colors

AUTHOR: Joyce Sidman

ILLUSTRATOR: Pamela Zagarenski

PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin, 2009

AGE GROUP: 5-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: analogical thinking, flexible thinking, imagination, critical thinking

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Look around a room. Notice the colors of things. Pick one color to represent two or three objects in that room. Use action verbs, a few adjectives and a simile or metaphor to describe each object.

For example:

BROWN stands on sturdy legs

and rests its cushioned arms.

Frolicking BROWN chases

bouncing spheres.

What does BROWN represent?

Did you guesss a couch and a dog?

2) What’s another word? Create a list of 5 things in your bedroom. Next to each item, write another word or words for that item. For example: bedspread – a toasted sandwich wrap. Then using those alternate words, create a poem about your room.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Joyce Sidman, visit: http://www.joycesidman.com

To learn more about illustrator Pamela Zagarenski, visit:

http://www.pzagarenski.com/Home.html

ABCs Naturally

abcnaturallycover

ABCs Naturally”

Alphabet hunters wanted! Each letter is featured with a nature photograph as well as an accompanying fun poem to illustrate the letter.

abcnaturallyp1   abcnaturally2

In the back of the book, each nature letter is described in more detail with facts and folklore.

This story promotes discovery, imagination, different viewpoints, and nature.

TITLE: ABCs Naturally

AUTHOR: Lynne Smith Diebel and Jann Faust Kalscheur

PHOTOGRAPHS BY: Jann Faust Kalscheur

PUBLISHER: Trails Books, 2003

AGE GROUP: 5-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, imagination, different viewpoints, nature

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Take a nature walk and play “I Spy” to find your own nature letters of the alphabet. Challenge – Try to find two to three letter words in nature.

2) Take photographs and create your own nature alphabet unique to the environment and landscape around you.

3) How else can nature help you to learn?

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Lynne Smith Diebel, visit:

https://www.teachingbooks.net/tb.cgi?aid=5333

To learn more about author/photographer Jann Faust Kalscheur, visit:

https://www.teachingbooks.net/tb.cgi?aid=5671