I always love when Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc gives us picture books! This third* addition to the picture book scene is absolutely precious and hopefully there are more to come in this Zom-Be series!
*The first two picture books in the DBC, Inc line are Dolphins in Trees by Aaron Polansky and The Princes of Serendip by Allyson Apsey! Check out their book blogs for more information: Dolphins in Trees blog is here and The Princes of Serendip blog is here!
As a former elementary teacher and media coordinator (librarian), I’m a sucker for picture books! As a middle school media coordinator & digital coach in a STEM magnet middle school, I’m seeing more and more that design thinking is a vital skill we need to explicitly and intentionally teach our students.
The author of Zom-Be a Design Thinker, Amanda Fox, and I are certainly (…wait for it…) on the same page! (Boom! Book pun!) In this adorable picture book, readers are encouraged to interact with the book in many ways.
First, Amanda has some incredible XR (mixed reality – augmented reality & virtual reality) embedded and more coming! There is even a terrific way for students to have the book read aloud to them! Hello, centers! By scanning the cover using Artivive App, Zom-Be Zip comes to life and does a little preview of the book! That in itself is the cutest book-talk I’ve ever seen! Loved it!
Another way Amanda has readers interacting with the book is that it’s written in such a way that encourages the readers to stop and answer questions and actually do things while reading the book! It’s really the perfect way to introduce design thinking to any age student! My 6 year old and my 10-year-old both loved it!
Finally, Amanda has some great things in store for the future of this book (and hopefully more Zom-Be Zip books – fingers crossed for us as readers) according to her website!
If you’re an avid DBC reader, or have been following along on Twitter, you may recognize that name “zom-be zip”… Amanda is the co-author (along with Mary Ellen Weeks) of the recently released Teachingland. (Whew – two books in such a short span of time! Wow!)
Zom-Be a Design Thinker is illustrated by Luna Stella D. Seeing Zom-Be go through the process of design thinking in hopes that he’ll become a real boy again is adorable in the illustrations! I can see younger elementary students really getting into the transformation of our main character, and an entire discussion on empathy changing us from the inside out.
— Alicia Ray (@iluveducating) June 28, 2019
So Design Thinking… what is it? According to Zom-Be Zip it’s:
- Empathize – getting to know the people before knowing the problem
- Define – determine the problem (it may not be as obvious as you first think)
- Ideate – brainstorming all possible solutions without mentally crossing them off (harder than it sounds)
- Prototype – pick the best solution and create your first iteration of that solution
- Test – try out that prototype, get feedback, and iterate (making adjustments)
These are “big words” that Amanda unpacks and helps students of all ages understand ing her book!
Get your MERGE Cube and join in the latest exciting duo – CospacesEdu + MERGE to see what all the excitement is about! I’m super pumped about implementing this book with students in my middle school! Of course we’ll read it and use this process, along with our school process, LAUNCH from the book of the same name, LAUNCH by John Spencer and AJ Juliani! We’re taking it a step further because I’ll be showing students the MERGE cube experience that goes along with Amanda’s book. We have spent a couple months at the end of the year partnering with MERGE to explore the logistics of having MERGE cubes and MERGE VR headsets available to students and teachers for checkout! As part of this partnership, we have 25 headsets and 25 cubes available for teachers to check out from the school library as a class set! These are only used within our school building. We also have 25 headsets and 10 cubes available for students to check out from our library and take home with them as they ideate & prototype through their own thinking. When we return to school, I look to really amp up this partnership and students will be using these materials and CospacesEDU to create their own explanation of design thinking to share with others. It’s going to be a ton of fun, and will help students to really deepen their understanding of the design thinking process!
I loved this picture book and look forward to more from Zom-Be Zip and Amanda Fox! Definitely connect with Amanda (and Mary Ellen) on Twitter so you’ll know all the latest in the world of Zombies! Added bonus: Zom-Be Zip has his own Twitter account! Be sure to follow him here! You can also follow along with all things Zom-Be using the hashtag #zombeDT. Now hurry along and grab your copy of the book using this link! In fact, go ahead and grab one for each of your PLC members! It’s that adorable!