Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

By Mo Willems


You can view the story here


Jenny Kompa and I share a passion for books! Jenny and I are often chatting about our latest reading lists. I was so excited when Jenny agreed to collaborate and with her choice of book!

Thanks Jenny 😊


Jenny and I hope you enjoy your students love for these teaching ideas!

Great read aloud for younger students. They love to get involved! They get very loud & animated! The text is highly effective as an introduction to persuasive texts.

Find out more about Mo Willems HERE

Mo has made a number of videos recently called ‘Lunch Doodles’. They’re quite random in content & length but in the first one he shares his writer’s notebooks, mock-ups and drafts of some of his books and gives a pigeon drawing tutorial.

Check out this book on Booktopia

Check out these teaching ideas:

Text innovation:

Text innovation takes a text and allows the students to change characters, setting, and story elements to make a personalised version of the story.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Truck! (end of story)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the…(other transport)

Don’t Let the Pigeon… (so many possibilities and always a class favourite!)

What if you DID let the pigeon drive the bus? (Oh no!)

Explore speech bubbles & thought bubbles – difference & purpose.

Explore punctuation – question marks & exclamation marks. How does our voice change when we read these aloud?

What strategies does the pigeon use to attempt to persuade you to let him drive the bus?

Line debates – for and against letting the pigeon drive the bus.

Read more about line debates. Find out more about line debates at:

Lean on the pictures. What is the pigeon doing? What happened first? What do you think is going to happen next?

Explore the pigeon’s emotions. Map out how the pigeon’s feelings change in the story. What events influence the change?

Discuss and list the character traits of the pigeon. Play charades for the other players to guess the traits.

Ignite class discussion around whether the pigeon could actually drive the bus. This may lead to an exploration of pigeons with jobs and learning all about the role of pigeons during war time.

Create some puppets and use them to retell this story.

Create your own pictures of this pigeon doing unusual tasks and add captions.

Create the word VROOM using materials that represent the sound.

Research facts about pigeons. I can recommend this website:

Mo used interesting fonts. Have you trialled using different fonts when you publish your writing? Write an awesome sentence about the book using different fonts.

What shapes did Mo use to create the illustration of the pigeon?

Follow the drawing tutorial of the pigeon HERE

Create a 3D model of a bus. What’s the mathematics about your bus? How many wheels? What colours did you use? What shapes have you used to create the bus?

Trace around the perimeter of your hand to use as the body to begin to create a pigeon.

Make a tally to calculate the most used word in the story.

Design and implement a survey to find out who would let the pigeon drive the bus.

If the Pigeon gave you five bucks (dollars) what coins could he give you? How many options are there?


Links to other texts:

Mo Willems Pigeon series

Mo Willems ‘Elephant & Piggie’ series (also cartoon style illustrations and speech & thought bubbles)

Oscar’s Book -Golden Book (one of Jenny’s childhood faves!)

Do Not Open This Book – Andy Lee (series)

Gary by Leila Rudge

Wheels on the Bus song


Enjoy and take care,


Andrea Hillbrick