Analysis of Standards Alignment for Invitational Books

The following is a sample of the power of Invitational Books to support the development of the skills, concepts, and processes required by the literacy standards in a motivating and engaging manner.  Depending on how the books are approached,  standards for students in grades K-4 can be supported by these books. The California standards are used as the example here, but any state or national standards would align in a similar manner.


How Invitational Books support the standard

Concepts About Print

  • Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book
  • Follow words from left to right  and from top to bottom on the  printed  page
  • Understand that  printed  materials  provide information
  • Recognize that sentences in pr int are made up of separate words
  • Distinguish letters from words

Structural Features of Informational Materials

  • Locate the title, name of author  and name of illustrator

Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

  • Distinguish fantasy from realistic text
  • Identify types of everyday  print materials  (e.g.story books, poems, newspapers, signs, labels
  • Identify characters, settings, and important events

When Invitational Books are presented to Kindergarten age students, they have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of each of the listed standards.

The books are read to students in an interactive “read aloud,” which models and supports the thinking, assisting students to be successful with text. They not only have the opportunity to locate the structural features of the books, but also to join in those elements by becoming an illustrator as well.

The fantasy settings of the books allow a discussion of fantasy and reality, critical to the development of future comprehension skills.

The rich stories allow the students to engage in the building block skills of identification of characters, settings and key events.

Structural Features of Informational Materials

  • Identify text that uses sequence or other logical order

Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate


  • Respond to who, what, when, where, and how questions
  • Follow on-step written instructions
  • Confirm predictions about what will happen next in a text by identifying key words (i.e. signpost words)
  • Relate prior knowledge to textual information
  • Retell the central i deas of simple expository or narrative passages

Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

  • Identify and describe the elements of plot, setting, and character(s) in a story, as well as the story’s beginning, middle, and ending
  • Describe the roles of authors and illustrators and their contributions to print materials
  • Recollect, talk, and write about books read during the school year

Organization and Focus Writing

  • Select a focus when writing
  • Use descriptive words when writing

Rich story content allows students to make meaning of the stories and to retell in a logical sequence.  Likewise, questions can be answered, since students will immediately engage with the strong storyline. In addition, the stories allow students to predict what will happen next.

The prompts allow students to embrace the concept of a direction in a thoughtful manner.

The characters themselves allow students to make text to self connections and draw on their  prior knowledge of space flight, toys, etc. in order to make meaning

Such key literacy words as plot, character, and setting can be well developed with students since these books will leave a strong impression on students and will allow them to reflect and solidify these critical concepts.

Not only will students be able to describe the role of the author and illustrator in these stories, but they also will have the opportunities to “co-create” with these people.

Finally, in allowing  students to extend the story through their writing, they have the opportunity to focus their writing in their own way and use descriptive words asare modeled within the stories.

Narrative Analysis of Grade-level-Appropriate Text

  • Compare and contrast plots, settings, and characters presented by different books
  • Generate alternative endings to plots and identify the reason or reasons for, and the impact of, the alternatives


  • Determine the purpose or purposes of listening (e.g., to obtain information, to solve problems, for enjoyment)
  • Ask for clarification and explanation of stories and ideas
  • Paraphrase information that  has been shared orally by others

Students have the opportunity to build on previous skills. In addition, the engaging nature of the stories allows students to use their imagination to design alternative endings and support their choices.

At the same time, key comprehension skills can be developed by introducing the story through interactive read aloud strategies. Challenging the students to create questions for each other around the story’s content will allow them to build the foundation for a skill that will be critical in more advanced literacy experiences.

Narrative Analysis of Grade-level-Appropriate Text

  • Comprehend basic plots of classic fairy tales, myths, folktales, legends, and fables from around the world
  • Determine what characters are like by what they say or do and by how the author or illustrator  portrays them
  • Determine the underlying theme or author’s message in fiction and nonfiction text

These new fairy tales allow students to understand that this genre can be used even when writing today.  The strong character development of the stories allows students to relate to the situations and analyze the choices made by the characters. Since they join with the illustrator and author in the creative process, they become actively involved in putting themselves in the author and illustrator’s position to better understand the messages portrayed.

Structural Features of Literature

  • Describe the structural differences of various imaginative forms of literature, including fantasies,  fables, myths, legends and fairy tales.

Narrative Analysis of Grade-level-Appropriate Text

  • Identify the main events of the plot, their causes, and the influence of each event on future actions
  • Use knowledge of a situation and setting and of the character’s traits motivations to determine the causes for that character’s actions
  • Define figurative language, (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification) and identify its use in literary works.

Using these books with older students allow them to do a deep level of analysis with text that is imaginative and engaging, while rich enough to do appropriate grade level skill development.

Deeper analysis allows them to examine the events in the story and look at the character’s motivation and connect to themselves. This ability to connect self to text and text to the world engages students in higher level thinking and analysis necessary for continued success in literacy as the years progress.

These language-rich stories provide numerous exemplars of figurative language and its impact on the reader. Due to the invitational art, students have the opportunity to
create deeper meaning by using the arts to portray their mental model that the language creates.