Happy Monday, friends! Today is the first post in a new little mini series that I'll be sharing on my blog called "Picture Books for Teaching Skills." The first skill in this series is....theme!

Since I started incorporating more picture books into my classroom this past school year, I realized how much easier it made teaching the concept of the central message or a story (theme) Since we had already read and discussed so many different lessons (themes) from all the picture books that we had been reading, it made it easy for the kids to recognize want the theme was and how to state it. Year after year, I run into the problem of kids stating the theme as something that happened in the story. For example, one possible theme of the story The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is don't judge someone based on their looks, but the students would say something along the lines of "The prince didn't want the princess because she was dirty!" They didn't understand how to state the theme as something that could apply to other situations. Picture books are a game changer!

Now, almost all of these picture books are below grade level, so they make great texts to introduce theme and then for individual practice. I use more complex text once we have gotten into the lesson, but picture books make for the perfect introduction!

Today, I'm going to share my top 20 picture books for teaching theme. If you want a free printable list of these books to use as a reference sheet, you can grab it here. :) Let me know what other skills you want to see picture book pairings for. :)