We love reading. Actually, I just had to buy another bookshelf to hold the overflow. Reading both chapter books and picture books is not only a great way to be captured by a new story but also an amazing opportunity to learn. That is why I was excited to review Branch Out World‘s study guide of Paddington Bear.
Branch Out World offers a whole series of literature studies called the Picture Book Explorers for a variety of picture books that have some connection with the British Isles. Some of the books are old favorites like The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck, but many are less familiar titles, so there is a lot of opportunity for novel learning. Each book has its own exploration guide, containing flags, maps, timelines, fact sheets, and at least 20 different cross-subject activities that may include any of the following: art lessons, science experiments, notebooking pages, lapbooks, mini-books, recipes, quizzes, grammar lessons, math lessons, coloring sheets, and much more. Every day for five days, the picture book is read aloud, and the day’s corresponding activities, which are laid out in the guide, are completed. The guides are aimed at students 5-9 years old, but it is easily modified to suit younger or older students by picking and choosing the activities each day that best fit your student’s level.
We had a hard time finding the picture book, but we were able to watch this video of the story. We did find the chapter book entitled A Bear Called Paddington and enjoyed reading that, too.
The Paddington Bear Guide contains a lot of helpful information to get started, including material lists, supply lists, suggestions on how the student can show their learning, further reading, and a daily outline of activities.
Day 1: Exploring the Setting
We focused on the geography of Peru where Paddington is from and Britain where the story takes place. We learned about the two countries and colored flags and maps. Further activities include learning about migration, making tourist posters, and completing the timeline.
Day 2: Exploring the Words
We learned about the author, learned new vocabulary words from the story, what a ‘narration’ is, and about subject-verb agreement.
Day 3: Exploring the Pictures
We learned about the artist, architecture, and principles of design. We took some time to complete some guided art projects.
Day 4: Exploring Science
We learned about bears, did some sensory activities, and a science experiment (making foam). Further activities included a nature/garden study.
Day 5: Exploring Math, crafts, and More
This day had many projects including learning about parallel lines, playing with shaving foam, learning about and making Tablas de Sarhua, packing (an exercise in spatial awareness), and cooking.
Activities for Picture Books
I really like that the guides correspond to picture books and younger audiences as most seem to be focused on chapter books.
I can choose which activities we do and how many we do according to my student’s level and what we have going on that day.
I love watching my kids get exciting when their learning overlaps. When we were reading A Bear Called Paddington and studying different places in Britain, my son was concurrently reading Harry Potter and was ecstatic when the names of the train station were mentioned in both books.
We thoroughly enjoyed reading both Paddington books. Following the guide was fun and easy, and it really helped lay a foundation to better understand the many facets of the story we enjoyed so much. Have you tried any of the guides offered by Branch Out World? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. If not, go check out their Picture Book Explorer series.
Till Next Time,