TED by Tony DiTerlizzi – Teaching Literary Skills with Picture Books

I am sharing a book a day for the next 30+ days. Picture books that can be used to teach literary skills to middle or high school students. Just because they are in the older grades doesn’t mean that picture books can’t be a great resource on its own or as a paired passage. Here is #1

Book can be found at Amazon

This book is about a young boy that has an overworked father that is unable to spend time with him. So, when I a raspberry-colored, adventurous and fun friend shows up days after the boy’s birthday the fantastic times begin.  The boy learns that with a friend like Ted, just about anything’s possible!

This book can be used to teach the following literary skills:


–Why does Ted show up at the boy’s house?

–What can you infer about the boy’s father from the statement, “…and as usual, my father was busy in his study.”?


–Why does the father not believe in Ted if he had an imaginary friend when he was younger?

–Do you agree or disagree that that people forget to have fun when they grow up? Explain

Word Choice 

–Ted uses words like “favoritest” and “pinkish-purply” when he introduces himself. What other words are used that show the author’s playful purpose in developing Ted?

Quotation Marks 

–What is the purpose of quotation marks within the story of Ted?

–Much of the dialogue in Ted is not associated with a speaker. How do you know who is speaking and when that speaker stops?

Creative Writing

–The writer will, first, create an original imaginary friend, inspired by Ted from Tony DiTerlizzi’s wonderful picture book. The writer will then think of an ordinary activity done on a daily basis, like feeding the family dog. The writer will write about doing the ordinary activity, but he/she will pretend that the activity is being done with the imaginary friend that has been created.

Using Mentor Texts

http://writingfix.com/Picture_Book_Prompts/Ted4.htm has imaginary friend stores written by students in grades sixth and seventh. Students can evaluate the student’s writing, edit, revise, discuss, compare to their own, etc.imgres-3


–Compare the expressions of the young boy and the father from the first time we see them to the last time we see them.

–The author/illustrator was influenced by Norman Rockwell. How does the father compare to Norman Rockwell in his painting The Self Portrait?


Want more? There is more and can be found on the free resource at TpT.

Follow this blog and my TpT store for more great picture books to teach to secondary students.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s