Tuesday, May 5, 2015

PBT Question # 5 to ask about any secular picture book:

Does this book have the potential to positively affect the behavior or future of those who experience it?

We often teach a lesson to improve the quality of audience members' lives. Picture Book Theology (PBT) encourages you to particularly consider their understanding of God and their relationship with God and their family of faith.

Many picture books provide stories/information that enhance our understanding of the human condition and the nature of our world. PBT is all about connecting the ideas found in picture books to scripture and/or spiritual truths so that religious learning and spiritual growth can be more meaningful. Longer lasting learning occurs when theological ideas are connected to realistic situations or meaningful concepts.

This last PBT question encourages you to think of your audience’s future behavior and the quality of that future. Asking yourself how a picture book will positively affect your listeners is a worthy question that gives focus to your teaching.   

As a nationally certified school psychologist, I’m passionate about improving social and emotional skills. Modern psychological research is finding that social and emotional learning, sometimes referred to as “emotional intelligence,” is crucial for success in relationships as well as in academics. For evidence of this crucial link, check out the website of CASEL, a well-respected organization: www.casel.org. CASEL has identified 5 Interrelated Sets of COGNITIVE, AFFECTIVE, AND BEHAVIORAL COMPETENCIES: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making.

With this last PBT question, I’m offering the picture book Just a Dream (Day 43 on June 1, 2014). It is a passionate story about an array of environmental concerns. In presenting this story and connecting it to God’s desire that we have respectful and intelligent guardianship of Earth’s non-human inhabitants and natural resources, you might inspire listeners to evaluate their relationship with the Earth, find connections with their behavior and the Earth’s health, and then improve their environmental consciousness. Additionally, this book addresses all 5 of CASELs competencies! 

Here are a couple of amazing illustrations showing a scene from Walter’s bad dream and “post-dream” Walter planting a tree for his birthday:


This book is only one possibility. Think of an important social and emotional skill, find it or a related word in the large list of green search words at the bottom of this screen, and see the vast potential the PBT blog has for you in the form of picture books, both secular and God books.

                  May your learning be enhanced as you teach, Hanna