Workshop booklist

Some of these books are published outside the UK, but you local bookshop or public library may still be able to source them if you ask.


Awesome Dawson by Chris Gall
Lots of tinkering ideas for all ages

Welcome to your Awesome Robot by Viviane Schwarz
Ask children to bring in large cardboard boxes and turn them into robots using recycled junk.

Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Teachers’ notes from Reading is Fundamental

Teachers’ notes from the publishers

More activity ideas on the author’s website–teachers.html

Ideas for classroom use from

Activity ideas from bloggers

The Most Magnificent Thing written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Lesson plan from the publishers

Literacy lesson plan based around The Most Magnificent Thing, including an author interview

How to Bicycle to the Moon to plant Sunflowers written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
Detailed (US) lesson plan

11 Experiments That Failed written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Simple lesson plan

Discussion questions and curricula activities

Activity sheet on the scientific method, inspired by 11 Experiments That Failed

The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty written and illustrated by Karla Strambini
Classroom ideas from the publishers

Colouring in /drawing sheet based on an illustration from The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty (p.20)

Costume idea

What Floats in a Moat? written by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Lesson plan for investigating sinking and floating

Simple sinking/floating investigation

Additional activity ideas
Many of these activities could work well with a number of the books above.
-visit a recycling centre
-junk modelling (build something out of materials which would otherwise have gone in the bin/recycling)
-tinkering with old machines – taking apart toasters, plus, vacuum cleaners etc
-building robots – real or toy
-learn about robots which are used in factories
-debate why things should be used again (or why they shouldn’t)
-borrow from the maker movement
-ask an engineer parent/grandparent in to talk about their workshop
-scientist/engineer role play area


The Trouble with Dragons written and illustrated by Debi Gliori
The Trouble with Dragons – Resources for Rethinking

Debi Gliori talks about her book The Trouble With Dragons

Telling our children about climate change could leave them angry, worried or even traumatised. So when and how should we do it, asks Leo Hickman – article from the Guardian newspaper

The Promise written by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin
Teaching sequence from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (NB Time limited – only up till March 6 2014)

An interview with Nicola Davies

Laura Carlin talks about illustrating The Promise by Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies learning resources from the Scottish Booktrust

The Lost Stars written and illustrated by Hannah Cumming
KS1 and KS2 lesson plans from the publisher

Outdoor activity book from

KS1 lesson plans to accompany the BBC series Stargazing Live

Bag in the Wind written by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Barry Root
Plastic bag lesson plan on the TES

How to run a whole school litter campaign from LItterAction

Waste minimisation pack for schools

The Boy who lost his Bumble written and illustrated by Trudi Esberger
Bee resources from Friends of the Earth

Protecting endangered bees: news and resources round up from the Guardian

Just bee good to me! Encouraging our country’s honey bees – a lesson plan from the Co-operative

Animal Rescue by PatrickGeorge
Classroom debate plans

Free resources from PETA

All about animals Primary school resources

The Great Big Green Book written by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Ros Asquith
Free resources and lesson plans from Friends of the Earth

Sustainability resources from the TES

Lesson plans from the Forest Stewardship Council

Coming and Going by Isabel Minhos Martins and Bernardo Carvalho
An interview with the author

Create artwork with coloured acetates to mimic the illustrations by Bernardo Carvalho

Activities surrounding (animal) migration

We Have Lift Off! Written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Hannah Shaw
Creating air powered rockets

We have lift off

Using recycled materials to design and build rockets

Book trailer


The Noisy Paintbox written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary GrandPré
Teacher/Librarian resource for ‘The Noisy Paintbox’ produced by the publishers

Teaching invitations from The Classroom Bookshelf

Kandinsky Lessons for “The Noisy Paint Box” Pinterest board

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse written by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Interviews with the author and illustrator

Matisse art lesson on TES connect

Pinterest board of Matisse inspired art lessons

Brush of the Gods written by Lenore Look, illustrated by Meilo So
An interview with Meilo So

Lesson plan from Ms Houghton’s Classroom

References for a Chinese Brush Painting Lesson from The Homeschool Den

The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
An Educator’s Guide to ‘The Day the Crayons Quit (produced by the publisher)

The Day the Crayons Quit resource on TES connect

Pinterest board dedicated to The Day the Crayons Quit

A Reading is Fundamental guide to The Day the Crayons Quit

The First Drawing written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
Educator’s Guide produced by the publisher

Simple teaching prompts

Cave Art activity ideas on Pinterest

Following my Paint Brush by Dulari Devi and Gita Wolf
Teaching resources and lesson/activity ideas for ‘Following My Paint Brush’

Creating a Mithila-style painting

Mithila art lesson plan

Journey by Aaron Becker
Book trailer

Video interview with Aaron Becker

Round up of resources for teaching wordless picture books

How to play The Shape Game

The Museum written by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter Reynolds
23 page Educator Guide to go with ‘The Museum’

Activity sheets to go with ‘The Museum’

Emotion painting lesson plan

Expressing Emotions through Art – lesson plan from the J Paul Getty Museum

Journey on a Cloud written by Veronique Massenot, illustrated by Elise Mansot
Tell us a Story Papa Chagall written and illustrated by Laurence Anholt

Chagall lesson plan

Another Chagall lesson plan

Chagall art activity pinterest boards

Tell Me a Picture: Adventures in looking at art by Quentin Blake
Use Google Art Project ( to explore great art galleries of the world or to curate your own exhibition

Mural art lesson ideas

Quentin Blake colouring in

Lesson plan for creative writing through wordless picture books (could be adapted for looking at art)


Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre written by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by JoAnn E. Kitchel
Lesson plan from Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Lesson plan in video format

Danse Macabre Pinterest board

The Beatles by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom
KS2 resource pack from The Beatles Story, Liverpool

Beatles power point from

Oral history project on Beatlemania (originally for US educators, but could be adapted to UK schools)…The-Beatles.pdf

The Composer is Dead written by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Carson Ellis
Teaching guide 1

Teaching guide 2 (from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra)

Teaching guide 3 (from the St. Louise Symphony Orchestra)

Teachers’ resources (from Sydney Opera House)

Summoning the Phoenix – Poems and Prose about Chinese Musical Instruments written by Emily Jiang, illustrated by April Chu
Lesson plan from the Smithsonian on discovering regional Chinese music

Asian music resources from TeacherVision

Music from China assembly plan on TES connect–music-from-china-6007743

Review and activity suggestions

Gus and Me – The Story of my Granddad and my first guitar written by Keith Richards with Barnaby Harris and Bill Shapiro, illustrated by Theodora Richards
Make a toy guitar out of recycled materials

Malaguena video clip

Guitar Hero in the classroom

Octopus’s Garden written by Ringo Starr, illustrated by Ben Cort
Dancing lesson plan

How to make an ocean drum

Make music using water eg water xylophones, splashing, or listen to sounds of wildlife in the ocean eg whale song.

Squeak Rumble Whomp Whomp Whomp written by Wynton Marsalis and illustrated by Paul Rogers
Event kit created by the publisher

A conversation between Wynton Marsalis and Paul Rogers

Simple sound activity

Changing sounds lesson plan from the BBC

Here Comes Frankie by Tim Hopgood
Wax resist collage art

‘Here Comes Frankie’ on

Synaesthesia background and experiment which could be run in class

What a Wonderful World based on the song by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss as sung by Louis Armstrong, illustrated by Tim Hopgood
Interview with Tim Hopgood about illustrating ‘What a Wonderful World’

Set of Louis Armstrong lesson plans

88 page Louis Armstrong eduction kit from The Smithsonian


The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös written by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Prime number lesson plans on TES connect

That’s a Possibility!: A Book about What Might Happen written by Bruce Goldstone

Set up a bowling alley and test hypotheses about how many pins might be struck down. Ideas for home made bowling alleys:

Counting Chickens by Polly Alakija

Hide numbered eggs (real or plastic) all over the classroom and get the children to hunt for them and then do various sorting games eg putting all the even numbered eggs in one basket, or lining them up in descending number order. If using plastic eggs you could hide simple maths questions inside for the children to solve (perhaps the answer to the question is the number on the egg).

How Many Jelly Beans? written by Andrea Menotti and illustrated by Yancey Labat

Play with jelly beans/smarties and rice to investigate large numbers as I did with my family here

Additional related lesson plans can be found here:

365 Penguins written by Jean-Luc Fromental and illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
Make penguins out of paper cups and then stack them in various grids and formations mirroring those in the book, as I did with my family here

Resource on TES connect

Further resources linking penguins and maths

Infinity and Me written by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Discussion questions and activities from the author

Using spaghetti to teach the concept of infinity

Shapes/Numbers/Opposites by PatrickGeorge

Go on a shape hunt, perhaps using this worksheet from Twinkl

More books and lots of activity ideas for teaching the concept of opposites

The Lion’s Share written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott

Lots of projects and lesson plans on the author/illustrator’s website

Circle Square Moose by Kelly Bingham and Paul O. Zelinsky
Activity guide created by the publishers (also links to interviews)

At the Same Moment, Around the World by Clotilde Perrin

Divide students into groups to research additional facts about each location, and have them present the information to the class, pointing out their particular time zones on the map. Here’s a TES connect resource on this topic:

Great places to find out about brilliant, new picture books

Books for Keeps
English 4-11
Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ Booklists

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