“"Not A Box" by Antoinette Portis is the story of a (genderless) rabbit and his or her cardboard box. But this is not a book about what a box IS, but rather what it COULD be---a race car, to a robot, to a flaming inferno, or even a rocket ship--all with just a little imagination!
Appropriate for grades Pre-K-2 (and all ages!)
Art: Teachers could give students each their own box and ask them to imagine what it could be. Students can then add drawings, designs, additions, etc. to his or her boxes and share their ideas with the class. A modification could be to give students an object they often encounter-- milk carton, pretzel jug, cup, etc. and ask students to imagine what ELSE this object can be. Students can then share ideas with the class. This modification might also be a fun collaborative opportunity for small groups or pairs of students as more advanced students can be given more challenging objects.
Math: Teachers can create a class infographic which reports the outcomes of the assignment. Students think of overarching categories for their creations (things that move, places to go, things I can wear, etc.) and then graph them! A great place to create infographics is infog.ram.
Writing: Teachers can extend the activity by asking students to write a story about their own "not a box".
This book would be a GREAT way to introduce the poem "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens. This poem is often challenging for students to conceptualize and this book is a great way of helping students to consider something ordinary in a new way. ”