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How we express ourselves 2019(UE5): Home

A guide to the PYP transdiciplinary theme for Upper Elementary

CREATIVITY: The influence of music and art

Thinking about picture books

Picture books are a doorway to how we express ourselves: An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic. 

Picture books are powerful. They can make us laugh or sigh or cry. They allow us to empathise with the characters - walk in their shoes.

As the reader and audience we need to be able to understand the illustrator and author's purpose and recognize the techniques.

In pairs, choose a picture book at random, then open to a random page. With your partner discuss some of the questions below. Write one of your thoughts down.  

What am I looking at?

What does this image mean to me?

How does it make me feel?

What sound does it evoke to me?

What is the relationship between the image and the displayed text message?

How is this illustration/picture effective?

What can you tell from the picture?

What can’t you tell from the picture?  What else may be going on?

What do you think the illustrator wants you to feel when you view the picture?

I wonder why…

I can see that…

I think….


Reference: Barret. Y, (2016)

Perspective: Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Chronicle Books)

Perspective: A collection of over 65 optical illusions

Beauty - body image - self esteem - Clothes as a form of expression

Beauty/body image/self esteem/taking action

Racism and Discrimination; judging values, cultures and beliefs

Thinking about Poetry

All poetry requires thinking! Poems are about ideas and feelings - maybe one or both. One poet, Wallace Stevens wrote:

“I am sorry that a poem of this sort has to contain any ideas at all, because its sole purpose is to fill the mind with the images & sounds that it contains . . . . You are supposed to get heavens full of the colors and full of sounds, and you are supposed to feel as you would feel if you actually got all this" 


Read a poem silently then read aloud to your partner/ listen to a poem and then jot down one of the following question/s on a post it note and leave on the page.

What is the overall emotional feeling (mood) of this poem

What words or emphasis of words made you feel ths?

What does this poem make you think about?

Does it relate to any experience you have ever had? 

What surprised you about this poem?

What surprised you when you heard this poem aloud?

What things do you like about this poem, or what things do you dislike about this poem?

Explain one unusual thing about the way this poem was written or read. 


Reference: Barret, Y (2016)