At the Center for Young Children, the Green classroom has been doing an in-depth author study for the past two months. Their author of choice has been Mo Willems, famed author of the Pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny series. Their initial study series has been the Pigeon books, starting with “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”. If you are unfamiliar with the books, Mo Willems simply illustrates the dilemmas of “Pigeon” who always seems to want something he cannot have. The children explored the many emotions Pigeon goes through in his endeavor to succeed. Children practiced portraying the same emotions only wearing their masks. Teachers said they were surprised how much emotion came across using only their eyes. The class made a huge chart with images comparing the emotions, characters, and summaries of each of the five books they read. Children helped to label the sections of the graphic.
The class also watched a video on how to draw the pigeon, by Willems, and used these new skills to illustrate their own Pigeon book, “The Pigeon Wants a Chocolate Bar”, in which the Pigeon finally realizes he doesn’t have any teeth to eat it with and ends up giving it to the little duck.
In the future the class will focus on Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books using some of the same comparison techniques they used with the Pigeon books.