You’ll love these 7 Kids Books about Imagination

7 kids books about Imagination

I love kids picture books. There are SO many to choose from, it’s such a pleasure to browse the bookstore, online book titles and the local library. Great books are such a treat – beautifully written, gorgeous pictures  and great characters to fall in love with. A good book can also be a great way to explore ‘big ideas’ or concepts with kids. Kids happily relate to the stories and the characters in a book, and talk about the ideas within the book. As a teacher, a good book can help spark conversation and engagement about something we are studying in class. It can support and drive forward ideas and concepts that you are studying, and help kids understand it, as they relate to (often) imaginary characters and their adventures and ideas. I regularly spent many hours looking for the perfect books to read to my class, or add to the class library, that would help my kids understand or inspire my kids to talk about whatever we were learning about in class.

 

Here are 7 books that you are going to love about IMAGINATION. IF you are looking to spark imagination or conversation about curiosity with your kids, these books would be a definite bonus in your classroom.

1. Are We There Yet?

are we there yet

Hands up if you like long car journeys. This picture book really captures the mood of a long journey with an unhappy kid in the back of the car. I LOVE this book! It’s about the adventures that can happen once you get a little bit bored, and let your imagination take over!

This book would definitely spark conversations about long journeys, moments kids have been bored, and the ideas they have had or could have if they let their imaginations run free.

 

 

 

2. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Cow who climbed a tree

Tina is a very curious cow. She is full of ideas and constantly want to try new things. Her sisters think her ideas are ‘nonsense’ and prefer to stay in the farm and eat grass. One day they go looking for Tina, and discovered just how exciting it can be when you try the impossible.

This is a gorgeous book that would be a great springboard for a conversation about curiosity, asking questions and trying something new!

 

 

 

3. This is Sadie

this is sadie

Sadie is a little girl who is full of imagination. This story takes us on a journey through Sadie’s imaginative day as she sails the sea, lives under the sea, visits wonderland and is a hero in fairytales. The book shows Sadie using a giant box and different things in her bedroom before setting off on her adventures.

 

 

4. Use Your Imagination

use your imagination

This is a super cute book. When Rabbit is bored, Wolf suggests he uses his imagination to create a story. At first Rabbit suggests the story should be about ‘space rockets…..big explosions! And bananas.’ Wolf talks Rabbit through how to make a story with a bad guy, hero, setting….and before Rabbit knows it he is in a story about a Rabbit trying to escape from a Wolf! But he uses his imagination to solve the problem.

 

 

 

5. Henry’s Amazing Imagination

henrys amazing imagination

This is one of my new favorite books, and I’ll tell you why. This is a story about a little mouse who has a fantastic imagination. He uses his imagination during show and tell, to share ‘news’ with his class about his neighbor’s pet dinosaur and how aliens landed on his lawn. This book made me laugh a lot, because when I was in school my younger brother did exactly this! In fact his ideas were so creative that the teacher temporarily suspended show and tell because the kids’ stories were become more and more creative! Anyways, Henry’s teacher encourages him to use his imagination to write stories, and a little mouse writer is born 🙂IMG_2978

 

 

 

6. Not a stick

not a stick

This book is has  little text, simple line drawings, and yet the message of the book is SO strong. It has the reader eager to turn the page to see what the stick is. The stick ‘is not a stick’, but it’s a fishing rod, baton, paintbrush and horse! This is an adorable book, and is a great book to have in your classroom to spark conversation about imagination and creativity!

 

Watch where you point that stick.This is not a stick.

 

 

 

7. My Imagination Kit

my imagination kit

 

On a wet morning, a little boy’s mother hands him a box of crayons and tells him it’s an Imagination Kit. The little boy sends the day drawing his way through a jungle, the ocean and a desert island. By calling the crayons an ‘Imagination Kit’ the box of crayons is transformed into a tool to have a fantastic adventure. I love that description. If you ever have a kid who says they’re bored, this is a great book to read to them, right before you hand them their very own imagination kit!

 

What other books do you read your to your class to spark conversation and ideas about imagination? I’d love to add to the list I have already.

 

Happy Reading!

Roisin

 

7 kids books about imagination

 

 

 

9 Books for St. Patrick’s Day

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St Patrick’s Day is just 2 weeks away, and shamrock’s and green decorations are starting to fill my house. Having grown up in Ireland, this time of year is always such a fun time! Shamrocks, rainbows, gold themed stories and decorations were always part of the tradition. As was going to mass on the morning of St Patrick’s day, with some shamrock or a green, white and orange rosetta, pinned to your jacket, before heading off to see the parade.

We are all a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re starting to look for some Irish inspiration, and thinking about how to add a little bit of leprechaun magic to our day, I have rounded up some books that will help you do just that! You can find these at your local library.

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The Night Before St Patrick’s Day

night before st patricks day

Written in the style of ‘The Night before Christmas’ this is the story of two children who spend the night before St Patrick’s day setting traps to catch a leprechaun. With some cute rhymes, this is a story that could be used to spark conversations about catching leprechauns and creating traps. The ending reflects a few well known stories about leprechauns and just how tricky they can be, even when you catch them.

As a side note, in the book the father plays bagpipes on the morning of St Patrick’s day. Bagpipes that you blow in to are more traditionally Scottish. In Ireland the uileann pipes (‘uileann’ means elbow), are more traditional. The bag of the uileann pipes is filled when the player uses their arm to move the bellows that are underneath their arm. An uileann pipes player can sing while playing. Here is a clip of a young 10 year old boy playing the uileann pipes.

Green Shamrocks

green shamrocks

This is a super cute picture book. Rabbit is busy growing shamrocks in a  yellow pot for St Patrick’s day so that he can wear them to the parade. But one morning when he wakes up, his shamrocks are missing. He goes searching for them, hoping that he will find his ;yellow pot of green shamrocks’ before the parade. –he’s getting them ready for St. Patrick’s Day so he can wear them for the parade!

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover

old lady swallowed clover

There was an old lady who liked to swallow lots of things – including a clover! In this St Patrick’s day version of this rhyme, the old lady swallows lots of things (including a clover, a pot and some gold), and when she dances with a leprechaun it makes a ……..perfect rainbow!

Fiona’s Luck

fionas luck

When all the luck in Ireland is locked away by the Leprechaun King, all of Ireland despairs. No on knows why the plants have stopped growing and no on is having any luck. Fiona is the only one who realizes that the leprechauns have taken all of the luck. She sets out to bring back luck to Ireland. This is a really lovely book, that young and older students will enjoy.

Saint Patrick and the Peddler

st patrick and the peddler

This is the story of a poor peddler, a porridge pot, the ghost of Saint Patrick and a journey.  The peddler was generous and kind and shared what little he had with others. When he is visited by the ghost of Saint Patrick, the peddler sets off on a journey. This book has beautiful illustrations throughout of Ireland, and is written as a more traditional story both with the language and with the storyline (with 3 dreams and a journey).

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day

a fine st patrick's day

The towns of Tralee and Tralah hold an annual St Patrick’s Day decorating contest. Every year Tralee is beaten by Tralah, but this year a little girl has a great idea to paint the entire town of Tralee green. They are sure they will win, but when a stranger comes looking for help, they must decide whether to help, or get ready for the competition. This is a sweet book about community and helping others, and what really counts on St Patrick’s Day (or any day).

The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever

the luckiest st patrick's day ever

This is a super cute story about a leprechaun family and their friend who celebrate St Patrick’s Day on their favorite day of the year – March 17th. It’s full of bright and appealing illustrations about the leprechauns as they celebrate with a parade and with family, friends and food! A cute story for little learners.

The Leprechaun’s Gold

the leprechauns gold

This is the story of Old Pat,  who is generous and kind and a great harp player, and Young Tom, who is self-centered and mean harp player. When a Harp Competition is announced by the king, both men set off on a journey together. When Tom realises that Old Pat may win the competition, he breaks a string on his harp. But, when Old Tom helps a leprechaun who is in trouble, a little bit of magic is added to the story. This is a fun story that also highlights how being generous and kind is important. The magic and mischief of the leprechauns is also seen in the story. And if you look really closely with your students you might be able to find all of the clovers that are hidden in the illustrations.

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

patrick patron saint of ireland

This book tells the story of Saint Patrick. How he was captured from his home in the United Kingdom, lived in slavery in Ireland until he escaped, and eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary. If you are looking for a book to tell the historical story of Saint Patrick, this is a good book for you. It also includes some of the myths about Saint Patrick in the book.

I hope this post has given you some St. Patrick’s Day book-spiration for your storytime and class library. What other books do you read for St Patrick’s Day?

If you’d like a FREE St Patrick’s Day resource, click on the picture below to download my free mini book, the story of St Patrick and the snakes and a wordserch!

st-patrick-and-the-snakes

Roisin

The Power of Nursery Rhymes

The Power Of Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes are a fantastic tool in the early years classroom. They give children exposure to rhyme and rhythm, and teach phonemic awareness in a fun and repetitive way. The Guardian paper in the UK polled 2,500 people and asked them what their all time favorite nursery rhymes were. The top ten nursery rhymes included: Hickory Dickory Dock, Little Miss Muffet, Incey Wincey Spider (Itsy Bitsy Spider), Baa Baa Black Sheep, Jack and Jill, Twinkle Twinkle and Humpty Dumpty. These nursery rhymes have been shared with young children by their parents for hundreds of years. What makes nursery rhymes such appealing rhymes for young children and why are they such a good learning tool in the early years?

Rhyme

As young children grow as language learners they become aware that some words sound the same even if they are spelt differently. Through nursery rhymes children are exposed to fun and memorable rhymes and word families like diddle/fiddle, stream/dream and dock/clock. Not all of the rhymes in the nursery rhymes make sense like ‘hickory dickory dock’ or ‘hey diddle diddle’, but I think this adds to the fun of nursery rhymes, and inspires the young creative mind to think of limitless rhyming words. From a very young age children can begin joining in with nursery rhymes. Even very young children can begin joining in the rhyming fun by finishing sentences ‘Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you ______?’

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Rhythm and Phonics

I remember very clearly singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ with my daughter when she was a baby. To begin with she always sang ‘star’ at the end of every sentence, but even in the early days, her sense of rhythmic patterns and the structure of language were beginning to develop.  Nursery rhymes are full of fun rhythm which make it easy for children to join in and follow. Exposing children to this rich culture of words and rhythm in language is a fantastically enriching experience for them. The best thing is that nursery rhymes are so much fun, children don’t even realise they are learning such important elements as assonance, alliteration, rhythm, etc.

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Fun with the printed text

Even before children can read they can have exposure to how a books work and engage with text on a page. As simple as looking at a page of a poem that is read by an adult, or ‘reading’ a book by themselves as they turn the pages and observe the pages filled with both text, and also visual prompts,  illustrations or key words in the rhyme.mini books small2

There are several products in my store which you might find useful as you explore Nursery Rhymes with your class.

Nursery Rhyme Bundleshop3

Lego really is awesome for Education!

Any of you with young children have, most likely, already been dragged along to the latest Lego movie. The unlikely and reluctant hero, Emmet, sets out to save the Lego world, and through his quest children are encouraged to throw away the building directions and follow their imaginations when constructing their Lego masterpieces. The Lego song ‘Everything is Awesome’ is completely catchy, and I have heard at least two adults singing this out loud in public spaces, no doubt having heard it on countless occasions since seeing the movie. After taking my kids to the movie, the very first thing they did upon returning home was to take their Lego constructions apart so that they could find spare parts to make their new inventions.

Lego, the construction, creativity and planning has limitless possibilities. I have seen several ideas for using Lego in lessons, so I thought I’d pull them together in one place, and share a few of my own too.
Tallest LEGO Tower: Here are some Lego facts (and video clips – click on city name) to inspire any budding Lego builders / engineers in your class:

  • One of the Tallest Lego Towers in the world was built in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 2011. It took 500,000 bricks,  6,000 volunteers (mainly children), 5 days to build.It measured 102feet and 3 inches.
  • The current word record for the tallest Lego Tower was set in Delaware, USA, in August 2013. It consisted of 420,000 bricks and was built by the students in the Red Clay School district. It measured 112 ft 11.75 in.

lego factsThe video clips could prompt endless conversations about construction  and design. I wonder how tall a tower students could build of they worked together and planned carefully….

Five Great Lego Posts about using Lego in the classroom areI found online are:

1. Duplo Montessori Number Rods:

Create Montessori Number rods with Duplo. Totally Tots gives a great idea for how to explore numbers, and create Montessori number rods with your little ones. By making the rods in the blue, red, blue red, pattern (creating conversation about patten too), you can create a this traditional Montessori number tool, with Duplo you have at home. And you can explore number in a fun way too.

montessori number rodsMontessori Number Rods (image & idea: Tiny Tots)

2. Greater Than or Less Than Lego Game

One Simple Day has a great idea for using Lego to make a ‘Great Than, Less Than’ game! By providing Lego bricks,a selection of numbers from 1-20 and a ‘>’ card, this simple and fun game, makes a hands on and visually effective way for students to explore the concepts of Greater Than and Less Than.

  Lego-math-game

(image & idea: One Perfect Day)

3. Counting and Measuring with Lego

This idea of using Lego to make a number stick, with both numerals and dots is another hands on way for students to explore numbers. With a permanent pen write the numbers, and corresponding dots on individual Lego pieces. Students can then make a number stick with the Lego pieces. Counting, ordering numbers and measuring are just some of the fun activities that students can use the Lego for.

counting-and-measuring-with-lego-680x453(Image & idea: The Imagination Tree)

4. The LEGO Interlocking brick technique:

When you look at a brick wall, and observe the pattern, the bricks are typically not stacked immediately on top of each other, but are placed overlapping each other so as to reinforce and strengthen the structure. I’ve always built Lego structures without thinking  that this is called this the Interlocking Brick Technique. Homegrown Learners has a good post about how to explore this concept with your students as they build with Lego.interlockingbrick.png

(Image & idea: Homegrown Learners)

5. Using Lego to Build Mathematical Concepts

Ever think about just how great Lego is for exploring and understanding mathematical concepts? Part-part-total, Square Numbers and Fractions are all explored and the activity explained clearly in this blog post. It’s a really good read with some great ideas.

lego_fractions1(Image & idea from Scholastic)

And finally…….supercomperssor.com has 12 random facts you probably didn’t know about Lego. Did you know that over 4 billion mini figures have been produced to date? Or that Lego is the largest tire manufacturer in the world (producing more tires per year than Goodyear and Bridgestone combined? For more facts check out the blog post:

lego (Image & Facts: Supercompressor)

Domino Buses – Beep, Beep!

I remember reading an idea for a Domino Parking Lot on Pinterest from Mathwire . Players select a domino, count the number of spots and ‘park’ it in the correct parking space. It struck me as a really fun and hands on exploration of number.

The other day, when we were playing with dominoes, a conversation started about the dots on the dominoes and how much the total of each domino was. This gave me a perfect opportunity to try this idea out! As it was spur of the moment, I improvised and roughly drew out a parking lot on a piece of construction paper.

When all of the dominoes were ‘parked’ the conversation spontaneously moved to questions about ‘Could we make a domino bus and park it too?’ and ‘How would buses be different to cars?’ The kids decided that buses ‘are bigger’ ‘and longer’ and ‘can have more people in them’. So they decided to make a parking lot that was bigger, and the spaces were longer, and placed it alongside the car park.

‘Now that you have sorted the dominoes in the (original) parking lot, can you add any of those dominoes together to make a longer bus and a bigger number?’ This is what we ended up with! Rather than placing the two dominoes together the kids placed the dominoes at either side of the ‘parking spot’ and wrote the total in the middle. They were totally engaged in making their buses!

domino buses

 

So much conversation and free investigation of number bonds came from placing that bus car park alongside the ‘parking lot’! I have created a ‘bus’ parking lot, to go alongside the Mathwire parking lot, or to be used separately from the car park, depending on what number work you want to explore with your students. domino buses

I also see the possibility to include the number sentence, and even further look at the multiple smaller numbers that make up the bus (the smaller numbers on the dominoes). I’m going to work on this and when I add to it I will share that too!

Click to download the Domino Buses Sheet

 

Published: 1/27/2014 on littlelearnertoolbox.wordpress.com