being a teacher, notice and note, picture books, Reading

Great Picture Books to Teach Flashbacks (Memory Moments in Notice and Note)

Posted from my Patreon community where I take requests for book lists to create, share resources, and offer up coaching for members. It is a very easy way for me to be accessible to people around the world, you can join here.

I am continuing with my updates of the picture book lists I made several years ago to accompany the teaching of a variety of reading skills. This time, the focus is on “Memory Moments” or that moment when a character has a flashback that in some ways gives us further clue to who they are, why they may be acting the way they are, the theme of the story, or even predict the future.

When I first started out teaching this skill, I was inspired by the language of  Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst.  This book provided my students with the foundation for deeper reading conversations and a common language as we developed our thoughts and discussion skills.

Here is my updated list for Character Change (Contrast & Contradictions).

Thank you to everyone who offered up suggestions of what to add to the list.

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Watercress by Andrea Wang and illustrated by Jason Chin

Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Meg Medina and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

Opal Lee and What it Means to Be Free by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate

Serena: The Littlest Sister by Karlin Gray and illustrated by Monica Ahanonu

Kamishibai Man by Allen Say

The Map of Memories by Fran Nuño and illustrated by Zuzanna Celej

Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts

A Different Pond by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui

A House that Once Was by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith

Red Tree by Shaun Tan

Miss Tizzy by Libby Moore Gray and illustrated by Jada Rowland

The Matchbox Dairies by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis

My Hands Tell a Story by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Tonya Engel

Emma and the Whale by Julie Case and Lee White has two flashbacks in it that can be considered brief memory moments.

An incredible picture book, When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett have a memory moment every time the grandmother answers her grandchild’s questions. Powerful message that will capture curiosity.  This is the book I will use with my 7th graders.

Belle the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend by Calvin Alexander Ramsey & Betty Stroud, illustrated by John Holyfield tells the true tale of one of the mules that carried the coffin of MLK Jr.  Told through memory moments as a child asks about the mule, this is a great picture book to teach an untold story as well as memory moments.

This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration Hardcover 

by Jacqueline Woodson (Author), James Ransome (Illustrator) is a story of one memomy moment after another as the tale of the rope passed from hands to hands is shared by a mother.

Both The Day the Crayons Quit and its follow up The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers have great memory moments as the crayons tell Duncan how they were used and what they remember.  Considering these are must have picture books for any classroom, since there are so many things you can teach with them, I am thrilled that both can be used for this strategy as well.

The retelling of the story of King Christian X in The Yellow Star by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Henri Sørensen is an example of a memory moment in the lesson that we are all to glean from it.  The fact that the story is not true does not hinder its deeper meaning.

The books of Peter H. Reynolds has been featured in all of my signpost picture books, and it speaks to their incredible versatility.  You and Me written by Susan Verdi and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds is a memory moment from the start as the characters reminisce about what would have happened had their day not unfolded the way it did.  A beautiful story of friendship and serendipity.

A beautiful memory moment exists in the pages of A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams as we learn the story of the chair.

Memories abound as the Wolf shares the story of what really happened with the pigs in Tell the Truth B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Jotto Seirold.

As always, I turned to the awesome Notice and Note community on Facebook and asked them to share their favorites as well.  Here they are.

Storm in the Night by Mary Stolz and illustrated by Pat Cummings.

Tough Cookie by David Wiesniewski

Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco.

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Diane Goode.

Saturday and Teacakes by Lester Laminack

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler

Did I miss any? If you are wondering how I use these picture books, just ask, and I will gladly share ideas.

PS: Are you looking for coaching, in-person support, or virtual presentations? I am available and would love to support your work. Whereas I am physically located in Denmark now, I can travel if needed. In fact, I will be in the US and Canada in February 2023.  If you would like me to be a part of your professional development, please reach out. I am here to help. For a lot more posts, resources, live and recorded professional development, please join my Patreon community where most of my sharing takes place these days.

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