Comparing Nonfiction Picture Books

I love to make kids think in new ways. My school is currently doing a March Madness activity by voting on a variety of picture books in all different genres, both old favorites and newly published works. As part of that series, my media lesson this week is a comparison of two of the nonfiction books in our March Madness competition, Yoshi and the Ocean by Lindsey Moore and Mushroom Rain by Laura K. Zimmerman, illustrated by Jamie Green.

After hearing both books read aloud, I asked them to brainstorm in small groups about how the two books were alike. We have been talking about evaluating books based on things like the vocabulary used and the amount of detail in both the text and illustrations so that we can make voting decisions about books that are not really very similar. This time I went a step further and asked them to fill out a Venn Diagram.

It was interesting to hear what the students had taken away from our earlier discussions about comparing picture books. Evaluation is such a difficult, but interesting process. I think my next step will be to have them write a rubric for picture books. If you would like a copy of this diagram, you can find it here:

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