Using Provocations for “Beekle”- Part 1



Once again, I’m featuring a Dan Santat picture book as a seed text for provocations.  This set of provocations is a little different than the previous ones I’ve written about, as the provocations are images as opposed to small props.   Here’s the overview:


  • creativity
  • imagination
  • friendship
  • overcoming fears

Important Symbols in the book:

  • crown
  • black & white representing adult
  • rainbow colours, representing children, youth joy, imagination


  • small yellow paper crown (like the one Beekle wears)
  • children/imaginary friends cards (download them here)

To start things off, I place the small crown in the middle of the floor and scatter the children/imaginary friends cards all around it.  I make sure that the cards are scattered so that children aren’t placed directly next to their imaginary friend. Then I draw their attention to the I Notice/I Wonder chart. Once again, I ask students to flex their brain muscles and help me to recap how this thinking routine works and then we use it to explore the provocation. At this point, students usually don’t “pair off” all of the children and creature, and that’s ok.  A general exploration and question of the provocation is just fine. After we’ve covered the basics of our Noticings and Wonderings, we transition to reading the book.  I stop frequently to encourage students to examine the details of images, and plot to sharing their Noticings and Wonderings.

When we’ve finished reading, I draw our attention back to the children/imaginary friends cards and encourage a discussion of how and why they are paired (the imaginary friends reflect/parallel the child’s hobbies)

Next, just like “After the Fall”,  and “Claymates” we form a circle and I place our laminated tic tac toe board in the middle.  As a group we refresh our memories on the “rules” of tic tac toe:  the middle square is the most strategically “important” , the point of the game is to form lines to “win”.  Collectively, we fill our TTT board with important words, phrase, ideas, themes, objects or from the story. Together we brainstorm about the most important idea, and it goes in the middle of the board.  From this we built “lines” of ideas.  As we’ve done this once before, students are full of ideas.  They quickly jump to place an important provocation or object from the story on the board, and I continue to prompt them with the follow up questions “what does it represent” and “where does it connect on the board and why?”.  If students are stuck for ideas, I draw their attention back to our Notice/Wonder chart and the book.

Once the TT board is full, we’ve done a pretty good job of reflecting on key themes and ideas in the book and usually, this is were things come to an end! However when I first used the Beekle provocation set, it was based on an invite from two teachers (Hi Megan and Jeremy 😉 ) to explore POV writing- so more on that in my next post!










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