All about I Spy books (and their photographer, Walter Wick)! See below for a possible project and related websites.

Student Project Sample (2011):


Clip Art

Collaborative Project - Feb. 2016 (on display in our library)



Related Websites:

Walter Wick's Website (all about Walter Wick - biography, I Spy books, photos and descriptions of I Spy books being planned and made)

I Spy Books - Scholastic (Scholastic’s site – includes info on I Spy books and the author and photographer; the link to make your own I Spy doesn't work from this site)

Make an I Spy Picture Online - Scholastic

Walter Wick - Scholastic Canada (Scholastic Canada's site - includes info on Walter Wick and his books

I Spy Games - Scholastic (another site from Scholastic - includes on-line games and activities relating to I Spy books; teacher section has good info, too)

Book Browsing and Reflection Sheets:

pencil.pngStep 1: Choose one of Walter Wick's books from the bin in the classroom.
Step 2: Browse through it and begin to complete the reflection sheet (see below) - be sure to include the full title, today's date and your name.
Step 3: Go to Walter Wick's website (the first one listed in the list above) and find the cover of the book you selected (on the opening page of his site or you may have to click on the "Books" tab for the drop down listing). Click on the cover then browse the photos, captions and information. There may even be a video clip! Complete the reflection sheet.
Step 4: Continue browsing the book and info from the website related to the book and then sketch and label a picture on the back of your reflection sheet.
Step 5: Hand the sheet in and repeat the steps (with a different book, of course!).

Fact Poster:

pencil.pngStep 1: Select a fact from our list below and jot it in your idea book.
Step 2: Type the fact on a Word document making sure that you meet the criteria that we set in class (see the rating sheet that follows). Start by deciding whether you want your poster to be portrait or landscape style.
Step 3: Print the poster.
Step 4: Sketch and colour a picture that matches the fact.
Step 5: Rate your poster and hand it in.


Online Rhyming Activities: (be patient, some of these activities take time to load)

Word Central - Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary (click on the "Rhyming" tab, type a word in the box then click "Go" - rhyming words will be shown in alphabetical order)
Wonder Red's Rhyme Time Bingo - PBS Kids
Rhyming Games - Bookstart (click on "Games" then select a rhyme, listen to it, then drag the words to the correct spot to complete the rhyme)

pencil.pngFebruary 2016

WW Think We Know/Notice! (Room 3 - Gr. 3)

-he makes/does photos for "I Spy" books (with Jean Marzollo - she writes the rhyme riddles); he is the photographic illustrator for the Can You? Imagine books)

-he uses some creepy things in his books

-he uses lots of things (thousands of things!)

-his books are from the USA

-the riddles are written Jean Marzollo

WW Wonders

Q: Does he make all of the things in his books? (e.g. cookies)

-some things he makes and some he buys (thrift stores, toy stores, etc.); for the cookies we saw, he had a food stylist make them

Q: Does he have a helper?

-sometimes he has an assistant and model makers to help

Q: Does he go places to take photos for his books? Does he go places to design the books?

(e.g. the beach to build a sandcastle and put toys in/on/ around it)

-he does the models in his studio; he brings the things in if he needs (e.g. the beach to him - truckload of sand)

Q: Are the pictures in the books photos?

-yes; he takes the pictures

Q: How does he build the scenes?

-he thinks about and plans them and then builds them out of things (blocks, toys, etc.)

Q: Does he write all of the books?

-no, see our wonder above

Q: Why does he keep it a secret (hide things really well)?

-he wants to make his books challenging and fun

Q: How long does it take him to build the sets/scenes?

-sometimes months depending on the scenes (one of them took 9 months for the book)

Q: What does he do with the scenes when he's done?

-he takes pictures; some of his work goes into art galleries

Q: Do all of the things he uses in his scenes belong to him?

-yes; he has used some items that belong to his wife (like her dolls and stuffed toys from when she was young)

Q: Where does he keep all of the things he uses?

-in his studio in bins/boxes

Q: How old is he?

-he is 63 (born in 1953); his birthday is Feb. 23

Q: Is he living?


Q: Where does he live? Does he live in the U.S.A.?

-He lives in Miami Beach, Florida (U.S.A.) with his wife.

Q: Is he a Florida Panthers fan?

-he's only lived there for 2 years so he isn't a fan yet

WW Facts! (in addition to answers to the questions above)

-he has 3 older brothers and a younger sister

-his first book (I Spy) was done in 1991 (25 years ago)

-he has 15 I Spy books

-it seems like he likes his job

-his wife's name is Linda

I Spy Rhyme Practice.JPG


Our I Spy Collections - 2015


Video (December 2011)!

Check out our video showing collections that were set up and photographed on Nov. 30th. Students created a riddle/rhyme to match their collection.

Check Out Our Holiday I Spy/Can You See What I See?

A group of students worked on a Holiday I Spy/Can You See What I See? display using real objects. Our display is in the library on 2 shelves. (Thanks to Ms Faller, another teacher-librarian, for inspiring the Holiday I Spy idea - except she uses a beautiful display case!)
Excuse the glare! We used clear cellophane as the 'window'.



Light_Bulb.gifNov. 7, 2011
The grade 2 students in room 19 at Wayoata School started an 'author' study featuring author and photographer Walter Wick. Our wonders follow and are in red. Answers to our wonders and other facts that we discover will be typed in black.

Things we are wondering about Walter Wick:

*Does he have a family? (wife? kids? other family?) His wife's name is Linda. His mom's name is Betty and his dad's name is Peter. He has 3 brothers that are older than him and a sister that is younger than him.
*How did he come up with the idea for his books. As a kid he liked to tinker with things/build things.
*What's his favourite... colour? ... animal? ... food? ...drink? ... season?
*Does he watch tv and if so, what is his favourite show? He likes movies but he doesn't watch tv shows or sports.
*Where does he live? (apartment? house? city? country?) He lives in Connecticut in the U.S. (he used to live in New York)
*Does he drive a car?
*Has he made other books? (other than I Spy books) Yes, he wrote a book called A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder. He also wrote one called Optical Tricks which is a bit different than I Spy books.
*What's his favourite book? School Days, Fantasy and Treasure Hunt are his favorite I Spy books. Scary Scary Night, Treasure Ship, and Toyland Express are his favorite Can You See What I See? books.
*Where did he go to school? He studied photography at Paier College of Art in Connecticut. As a kid he attended public schools in East Granby, Connecticut. One of the elementary schools was Seymour School (but that's not where the name for the Seymour character came from).
*What does he look like? (glasses?) The picture on his website shows no glasses.
*How many books has he written/made?
*How old is he? He was born on February 23, 1953. He is 58 years old.
*How does he make his books/how does he get his ideas? He started by accident when he was sorting things and he liked the way it looked; he took a photo and it helped inspire his first I Spy book.
*What does he do in his spare time? (sports? games?) He likes to travel and visit art museums.
*Does he have any pets? He has a standard poodle that is white. It's name is Smokey.

Other Facts We Discovered (from: books, websites, video clips, interviews, answers to our emailed questions on Dec. 14th):
*He uses kids to test out his books.
*He has won many awards for his books.
*He has sold more than 38 million books worldwide.
*He liked to tinker with and fiddle with things as a kid.
*He liked exploring and inventing when he was young. We thinks he has/had a good imagination.
*He's not done writing kid's books - he thinks he'll write kids books for many more years.
*Kids like his work the most.
*He started writing books when he was in high school (similar to I Spy books).
*He loved science.
*He became really interested in art when he was in high school.
*He is the photographer and Jean Marzollo writes the riddles for I Spy books.
*He has a storage closet with 1000s of objects in it (e.g. toys, etc.); some of the objects get used in his books.
*He loves his work.
*The pictures always come first and then the rhymes - the rhymes describe the hidden objects.
*He makes the backgrounds where the items/objects are.
*He gets many letters and emails from kids (including one from us which he answered the next day!).
*He gets the most letters asking about Seymour.
*Seymour is hidden in each of his Can You See What I See? books.

Links for Teachers
DIY I Spy Books - Delia Creates (uses a white backdrop when taking pictures and Picasa collages)
New York Times Article - Walter Wick
Walter Wick and His I Spy Books (Martha Stewart Presents)