Teaching With Brian Selznick
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
The worlds of Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret offer rich possibilities for classroom learning in every area of the curriculum. Read our guide to teaching with Brian Selznick’s award-winning books, filled with rich resources for teachers and students. From a virtual field trip inside the American Museum of Natural History—the setting for much of Wonderstruck—to discussion guides, classroom activities, and interviews with Selznick, it’s all here!
Virtual Field Trip Classroom Activities:
After taking your students on a virtual tour of the American Museum of Natural History, consider these follow-up classroom activities for each of the field trip stops: the wolf diorama, the giant mosquito model, and the Ahnighito Meteorite.
Activities for virtual field trip to the American Museum of Natural History.
Activities from The American Museum of Natural History virtual field trip by Author Brian Selznick.
Meet Brian Selznick
“Visually stunning, completely compelling.”
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Innovative…has the makings of a classic.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A thing of wonder to behold…an emotional experience that neither the words nor the illustrations could achieve on their own.”
— School Library Journal starred review
Kid Reporter - “Brian Selznick Leaves Readers Wonderstruck” September 2011
In this video interview, Brian Selznick talks Wonderstruck with Kid Reporter Grace McManus.
Instructor - “Talking with Brian Selznick” September 2011
Brian Selznick talks about Wonderstruck, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and his experiences in school as a budding artist.
“A true masterpiece.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Fade to black and cue the applause!”
— Kirkus, starred review
“It’s wonderful. Take that overused word literally: ‘Hugo Cabret’ evokes wonder.”
— New York Times Book Review
2008 Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner
National Book Award Finalist
#1 New York TimesBestseller
An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
BookFocus- “Brian Selznick Gives Us the Inside Story on The Invention of Hugo Cabret” March 2007
Get the inside scoop from author Brian Selznick on the creation of his novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
“Brian Selznick Video Interview” -Hear how Brian Selznick got his start and how he developed his ideas for The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Try These Wonderstruck Classroom Activities
As a story told through words and pictures, Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck stands alone. It is neither a graphic novel nor a picture book, but a new form of literature that, until now, had yet to be imagined. After your students read Wonderstruck, there are so many ways to extend the learning. Here are just a few.
The two main characters in Wonderstruck, Ben and Rose, are deaf. Journey with your students to learn more about deaf culture and sign language.
Sections of Wonderstruck are told through notes and letters. Challenge children to create their own stories using notes and letters with this activity.
In many ways, Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick, is about finding a community beyond one’s immediate family. Help children to identify their own communities with a collaborative mural project.
It’s hard to imagine a fictional story that encourages us to revel in the discoveries and mysteries of science more than Wonderstruck. These activities will bring science from the written page to the world of your classroom
In Wonderstruck, Ben learns that museums evolved from private collections called “cabinets of wonders.” Invite students to learn about the history of museums and create their own cabinets of wonders using items from nature.
Rose and Ben, the two main characters in Wonderstruck,are both deaf. Learn more about deafness with this hands-on demonstration.
Wonderstruck takes us back in history to the 1970s and the 1920s. As readers, we travel from Minnesota and New Jersey to New York City. Use this wonderful story to launch your own classroom inquiries into history and geography.
When she is a little girl, Rose creates buildings and skyscrapers out of paper. Later, as an adult, she creates an elaborate model of New York City. Work with your students to create models of their neighborhoods or the neighborhood around your school.
When Rose is a little girl, she sneaks out of her house to watch a silent film. Teach your students about the history of film and video by working together to construct a visual timeline.