Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Behind the Books: Another Gift for Educators

When No Monkeys, No Chocolate came out last fall, I wanted to provide educators with a really useful teaching tool to accompany the book. I created this Revision Timeline so that kids (and teachers) could get a sense of how much time and energy goes into a book, even when it’s just 32 pages long.

The timeline was a big success. To say educators love it would be an understatement.

Flash forward six months and it’s time to launch another picture book into the world—Feathers: Not Just for Flying has. Once again, I wanted to create a great book-related resource for teachers.

Thanks to a suggestion from my friend and uber-talented teacher Kate Narita, I made a list of the most important features of nonfiction. A carefully chosen structure was first on my list, but I focused on that a lot in the Revision Timeline. Other items on the list included a distinctive voice, strong verbs, meaningful comparisons . . . BINGO!

Similes are at the heart of Feathers: Not Just for Flying, so they’d be the perfect focus for educational materials. After some more thought, I decided to create a mini-lesson that includes reading the book, watching a video, and doing a worksheet.

Of course, you can bring your own creativity to how you present the material to students, but everything you need to get started is right here.
I hope you like it.



  1. excellent videos, thanks! The timeline really puts it into perspective. And I like hearing some of the back story for "Feathers"

  2. Wow! This is great - thanks for taking the time to create it and for sharing it with us.

  3. Thanks for your comments, Sue and Donna. I hope teachers will find the mini-lesson useful.

  4. What a cool--and enlightening--timeline! Thanks for sharing. Gives me hope for some of my ongoing projects. :)