Picture books are on my list of must-have teacher materials. They are great for any grade, and students love them.
There’s just something about being read to that makes even the most resistant learners pay attention.
But I always struggled with turning those wonderful read-aloud moments into lessons that would reinforce comprehension skills and give students a hands-on learning experience that could be applied to reading skills they needed to work on.
Enter Book Companions.
They have been a saving grace for years, and students love them! Plus, they’re the perfect resource to add to your sub binders and emergency sub plans.
What are Book Companions?
Book Companions are my answer to connecting fun read-alouds with important reading skills. Instead of relying solely on verbal question and answer periods about the books we’re reading, Book Companions give students a chance to get some hands-on, interactive practice with those skills. This not only helps me assess their understanding, but it also drives home the skills they need to work on.
Each Book Companion is filled with print and go activities that can be used with any class you’re reading the picture book to that day.
Some examples of activities include:
- sequencing crafts
- sorting story elements
- sorting and sequencing story events
- adapted books
- graphic organizers
- and more!
With various activities for each book, Book Companions make read-alouds a fun and interactive part of your teaching routine.
What Do You Need to Use with Book Companions?
Many teachers express disbelief that Book Companions are so easy to use as print and go materials, but all you need to go with a book companion is the book.
Sometimes you’ll need a baggie or paper bag, and sometimes a piece of large construction paper or a file folder is suggested, but, for the most part, the resource requires very little for you to be able to use it with your students… which is also what makes it a great sub binder lesson!
How are Other Teachers Using Them?
With over 50 Book Companions available, there are a lot of ways teachers are using them in the classroom! From complements to unit studies on a particular topic to easy reading centers to one-on-one activities with students on IEPs, there is no shortage of ways to implement classroom activities.
Here is what other teachers are saying about the Book Companions and how easy they are to use:
” Yet another amazing resource. I am always looking for ways to expand the comprehension and focus while reading, this is a perfect way to do that! And the craft is just an awesome bonus!”
” This product was the perfect thing I needed for a unit of The Color Monster as we discussed feelings and emotions. The visuals were most helpful to my students and the activities were very engaging and entertaining. I highly recommend this to anyone teaching their class about feelings, emotions, or self-regulation.”
” This resource was differentiated for skill levels and so easy to implement in the classroom. The kids enjoyed it and were engaged for the entire lesson.”
” Nice assortment of activities that I was able to use for various ages. Students were engaged, and it went well with the story.”
” I used this with my class of students with severe emotional disabilities. They loved the activities to go along with the book and we created a whole bulletin board with these materials. Thank you!”
No matter how you use Book Companions in your classroom, they are sure to be an easy, low-prep activity with a ton of learning reinforcement. The fact that they keep students engaged throughout the lesson is just icing on the cake!