Early Literacy: Aaron Becker


Have you seen Aaron Becker's book Journey and its sequel Quest? They are amazing wordless picture books, and I love that there two picture books that continue the same story in this way.  Such a great idea, and the illustrations are beautiful. When I first used Journey as part of a lesson plan on balancing, I was really excited because it was a perfect continuation on the theme of "flying" from an earlier class. It also allowed us to talk about recognizing the feeling of boredom and how we can use our imagination to become "unbored." The kids LOVED the book - it was probably one of the biggest hits of the whole term.  The poses I chose were also the right balance of ease and effort for this group, and they had a great time figuring out how to hold their bodies in the various arm balances.


So when I realized that Becker had released the follow-up book Quest, I immediately grabbed it from the library and designed a lesson that focused on the idea of imagination (specifically how we use our imagination in yoga). As with Journey, the kids were enamored with Quest. They were excited to predict what might happen next and to share creative ways of how they would defeat the soldiers in the story.  When it came time to create their own poses, the kids were (slightly) obsessed with the idea of what comes after Warrior Three, so we had Warrior 10 and Warrior 1000, and at some point, Warrior 71 made an appearance.  Because they kids were left somewhat to their own devices to either do the traditional poses or make up a new version, I tried to call attention to kids that were really working hard to challenge themselves. When I saw a pose (traditional or self-created) that was being executed safely and with focus, I would ask the class to stop and either just notice that person's pose or to try it themselves.