About Margy’s books and Discover Your World blog

Welcome to the 2017/18 school year. I continue to be so inspired by the VTS  protocol and have had great fun introducing, practicing  and talking about this very pliable discussion based teaching and learning strategy.  Teachers have realized that  Content VTS can include all four domains of language learning and  is an effective strategy across the curriculum.http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/visual-thinking-strategies-improved-comprehension

I started this blog for teachers to let them know about my work and  my school visits. I also share articles, lesson ideas and other books that relate to the themes of my books and my  Who’s That  Lady? project. If you want to know more about  my work including school visits scroll down past recent posts and archives and look for categories  Contact me at margyburnsknight@gmail.com

People have been using  and building  walls for years. Talking Walls Discover Your World introduces readers to places and cultures by talking-walls-discover-your-worldexploring the stories of walls around the world.

Meet a loyal dog from Japan, a poet from Chile  and an artist from Mexico. Visit the Great Wall of China, the Lascaux Caves of France and Great Zimbabwe.

Talking Walls: Discover Your World




who belongs here



Who Belongs Here? tells the story of Nary, a young boy fleeing war-torn Cambodia for the safety of the United States. To some of his new classmates, however, he is a “chink” who should go back where he belongs. But what if everyone whose family came from another place was forced  to return to his or her homeland? Who would be left? This story teaches compassion for recent immigrants while sharing the history of immigration in America and some of the important contributions made by past immigrants.



Welcoming Babies is a vibrant and tender celebration of life and diversity. As children and adults explore the welcoming of babies from all over the world they can share stories of their own welcoming , traditions and culture.

Africa _Africa Is Not A Country enters into the daily life of children in many countries of modern Africa. Countering stereotypes the book celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the vibrant continent at experienced by children at home, at school, at work and at play.


All about illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien http://www.annesibleyobrien.com











Maria’s Shoes is a true and timeless story from a Roots of Empathy http://www.rootsofempathy.org/classroom. Maria is bullied about her shoes being “unfashionable,” and her friend desperately wants to help but doesn’t know how. When we see injustice, empathy — the ability to identify with another person’s feelings — can empower us to take action to help others. The friend’s empathy and moral courage result in a lesson that all of the children in the playground learn — we are all capable of standing up against injustice and helping people to feel less alone.



Teachers comments about our VTS 10/17 presentation in Portland

Visual Thinking Skills

The presentation expanded my knowledge

I gained knowledge/skills 12345

The presentation was clear and engaging


This was excellent for those of us teaching a variety of levels – newcomers to more advanced. Well done.

It was something I was sort of doing without realizing it. The presentation gave me direction to expand on what I was doing and make it better.

This was an interesting process to be walked through. You learn so much about what everyone sees in the same picture.

Implemented it today and it was well received by my ELLs.
Very informative. A great approach for helping ELL students to write expressively.

I thoroughly enjoyed this breakout session. The small group setting supported the presentation, and I loved the fact that we have an appropriate activity that I can bring back to school and use with my students.

So creative and a great idea for improving speaking proficiency.
Loved the presentation. Would love to continue with more information.
Excellent presenters, engaging and informative. I will use this in my practice.
Fantastic!!! Ready to implement!!! 🙂
This was also great! I loved the presenters, and the strategy seemed very easy to use and ELL friendly.

Very applicable to all levels of teaching, and more appropriate for our students. It gave me ideas that I could use immediately with my students. I thought it was the best presentation of the day.

This was great- the three presenters did a fabulous job keeping it lively and engaging. This will be useful in the future.

Gave a protocol for Visual thinking skills. Good demonstration of how to use this for English Language learners.

I put this right to use on Monday and my students ROCKED!!! Loved the whole presentation, thanks ladies

All 3 presenters were excellent. I could incorporate VTS immediately in my classroom! Fabulous ideas. will use in my job.

I have learned about Visual Thinking Skills. I will incorporate this strategy in teaching listening, speaking, reading and writing.


I’ve used visual thinking in my classes, so this seminar supplemented what I already knew. It was interesting to see how an artist, author, and ELL teacher used the same protocol in different ways to develop student learning.

The presenters worked very well as a team. engaging

I love this. It is something I can put to use today.

I work 1:1 which would not make this as beneficial for my students, but I do like it.



This was a totally new way of thinking about language instruction. The three perspectives from different instructors combined with the hands-on practice made this very powerful professional development. It was so inspiring that I already tried this in two different classes today! The students loved it too!