This story tells the tale of a young boy named Iggy whose main passion is to transform the world around him into an incredible city through constructing innovative buildings all around him. He uses his toys and almost anything else (including dirty diapers) that he can find to transform his room into a hustling, bustling city. The story turns for the worse when one day Iggy faces a major problem – his second grade teacher tells the class that she dislikes architecture! Iggy struggles with finding ways to create new buildings privately without running the risk of his teacher finding out. In the end, Iggy talks with his mother and she explains that other people cannot determine what he is interested in or not interested in; he must follow his heart and follow his passion.
There are several examples of new vocabulary for young children to experience throughout reading this book. These vocabulary words include bright, passion, troubled, confused and construct. This vocabulary can be introduced before students attempt reading the book through adding new words to the class vocabulary flashcards or the nightly homework assignments using vocabulary worksheets. One excellent assignment is to ask students to look up the words or ask their parents for a definition and then to write a sentence using the word correctly.
- Ask students to think of times they have wanted to do something and were told they could not by a teacher or parent. How did they react to this? (Knowledge)
- Show students the picture on page 3 where Iggy has built a tower in his room of dirty diapers. Ask the students to think about possible problems that may arise in the story. (Analysis)
- Ask students to think of time when they have been encouraged by a parent. What was the problem and how did encouragement make them feel? (Knowledge)
During Reading Questions:
- After the parents have seen Iggy’s tower city in his room, ask the students how they would have reacted if they saw something like this – would they have been as accepting? (Synthesis)
- After the teacher announces that she does not like architecture, ask the place what reasons she could have for disliking architecture. (Analysis)
- When Iggy’s mother shows support for his passion in architecture, ask the students why she would support his passion when she though he was “odd” earlier in the story. (Analysis)
- Ask students to think of a new title for this book that does not include the main character’s name. (Synthesis)
- Ask students to consider how things would have changed if Iggy decided not to continue with his passion for architecture. (Analysis)
- Show students the picture of Iggy’s room at the very end of the book. Ask the students to compare how his room has changed from the beginning of the story to the end (Analysis) and ask what event contributed the most to these changes (Synthesis).
Beaty, A. (2007). Iggy peck, architect. New York: Harry N. Abrams.