Activities with Eye-Catching Books

Hats off to teachers…it’s time for Mid-Week Focus to open a page on the fun and function of ACTIVITIES with EYE-CATCHING BOOKS!

Ask kids which is more eye-catching…something BIG or something small and most will answer BIG!

Maybe BIG isn’t always better, but BIG BOOKS, like the one in my blog pic below,

"Boys and girls, Let's look at this easy-to-carry big dog book!"

“Boys and girls, Let’s look at this easy-to-carry big puppy book!”

are clearly eye-catching!

My Big Puppy Book, © Piggy Toes Press, has another eye-catching feature that kids love…a handle for carrying it, as you can see in the pic.

You may not believe where I found this treasure (but you know I’ll tell you)…at a local supermarket. True. My Big Puppy Book was sitting on top of a big box of books “on sale,” and it caught my eye immediately as I was passing by.

Being a frugal teacher, I decided to ask the store manager if he’d further discount the already discounted price because the back of the book has a small tear in the binding. “$3.00,” he offered. Done!

I grabbed the portable pups in print and planned some teaching tricks around this eye-catching book that you can try too.

"Would you like to take turns petting this beagle puppy?"

“Would you like to take turns petting this beagle puppy?”



Books, like My Big Puppy Book that have an additional lovable feature…the soft furry circles at the heart of each puppy, like the one shown in my blog pic here, invite touching and further engage kids.

When children participate in reading time with activities like taking turns petting book-bound puppies, they pay closer attention to the text and the pictures.


Teachers can make any book more eye-catching – large or small, old or new – by dramatizing Read-Aloud time.

Teachers in all elementary grades can add some attention-getting fun to class time sharing age-appropriate children’s stories and poems using the following activities:

  • Create a Chorus to Repeat the Story Theme – Reading aloud from a chapter book doesn’t have to be strictly verbatim. When you’re preparing for Read-Aloud Time, write a chorus phrase to share with your class that captures the main idea of the storyFor example, you might write, “Joey was ready for the challenge, at least he thought he was ready.” Before you begin to read from the book you’ve selected, write the chorus phrase on the board and explain to students that you’d like them to join in when you begin to say it aloud. The class will listen for your prompt, and in doing so, pay closer attention to your reading.
  • Offer Students Supporting Roles – Every story has a main character and most stories have characters who play a supporting role. If you have a student whose attention tends to wander, you might invite him or her to be the voice of a supporting character during Read Aloud Time. You may need to have that student stand by you while you’re reading aloud, and you may also want to prompt your co-reader with a few introductory words to his/her dialog part, like, “and then the boy wearing the glow-in the-dark t-shirt said…”
  • Love Those Sound Effects! – Challenge students to listen for the sounds of a story or poem. For example, when you’re reading about a haunted house, make a creaking sound and invite the class to repeat the creak. Add other effects as you continue reading eye-catching and ear-catching stories or poems.
  • Pop-Out a Pop-Up Book – Sophisticated or simple, pop-up books, like the one you see in my blog pic below, are eye-catching for children and adults. As you do with “touch-me books,” you can make pop-up books interactive for your listeners, as well as for yourself when you turn the pages. For example, a key word in the book I’m presenting in the pic here is the word long. When I share this book with students in grades K – 2, I invite them to say the word long aloud with me every time they hear me begin to say it as if it were spelled l-o-o-o-n-g!
and the peacock said, "I'm so proud of my l-o-o-o-o-n-g feathers!"

“and the peacock said, ‘I’m so proud of my l-o-o-o-n-g feathers!'”

Read more about how to use eye-catching pop-up books in my 08/08/11 post featuring another bargain teaching tool.

And don’t forget the fun and function of bookmarks to add wow to eye-catching books.

Eye-catching books in the hands of capable, creative teachers bring literature to life and help children learn to love to read.

What’s the most eye-catching book you’ve ever shared with children, in any language of the world?  Please send more comments and share with other educators.  Thanks!

Talk with you again soon,

BarbaraThe Lovable Poet



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Posted in Mid-Week Focus
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

Related Posts: Let "Listen Star" Work Magic for You