ALA Annual 2021

Zwiers Picture Book Inspires an Engaging Lesson Plan #alaac21

A book trailer of “Where Do Words Come From!” by Zwiers and illustrated by Sr. Reny was presented at the beginning of this session during the Virtual 2021 ALA Annual Conference. Reycraft Books representative, Eileen Robinson and author Jeff Zwiers held a conversation in a live webinar about Zwiers’ latest picture book. Zwiers said this book was inspired from a question his daughter asked about where do words come from. They then started playing around with different word combinations. That activity parallels Jeff’s philosophy of encouraging children to create their own words instead of having them use memorization.

Throughout the discussion, we were presented with colorful pages from Zwiers’ book. We could see that pictures of things in the book were created as word art. As Zwiers described the pages, they would be related back to Jeff’s background knowledge in language, reading, and learning as teacher trainer at Stanford University.

Virtual 2021 ALA Annual Conference with Eileen Robinson and Jeff Zwiers. Notice the word art in the parrot?

As the end of session was approaching, I was thinking about ways to create a lesson plan from this book. I could start with the book trailer they played for us in the beginning (as Robinson suggested to start a book activity), read the book slowly (lots of word art to look at in the pictures, and engage students in a competition for them to create their own words (as suggested by Zwiers). I said this in the chat during the live webinar and Robinson replied to me that a lesson plan could be developing as we speak.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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