Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Ketchup on Your Cornflakes (by Nick Sharratt, Scholastic; ISBN: 059054151X )

This book is a real hit with the kids. There is no story, it's just a mix and match of crazy combinations as indicated by the title. The kids learn to say "Do you like ... on/in your ..." and have great fun doing so.

I followed the method described in Sandie Mourao's great handbook: JET Realbooks in the Primary Classroom (Mary Glasgow / Scholastic; ISBN: 1900702193). Sandie's instructions are clear and helpful, her ideas are fun and they work.

One activity is for the kids to make their own book, as I've got kids as young as 4 in some of my classes, I worried about the representational drawing that is needed here. The results were mixed: Some kids rose the the challenge and made great simple drawings, others were overwhelmed by the task and just scribbled on their books, some asked me to draw outlines for them, some coloured in the mini-flashcards and stuck them into their books. I found that if I gave one kid mini-flashcards to use, everybody wanted them and all creativity stopped. My best solution was to give each kid 2 or 3 flashcards to colour and stick in and get them to draw the rest themselves.

There are 2 new book entries, both using ideas from handbooks for teachers.
Pics of artwork will be added when my husband gets back with the camera.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
(by Eric Carle, Hamish Hamilton Children's Books; ISBN: 0241003008)

This is a children's classic, the caterpillar eats a lot of different things, then turns into a butterfly. The days of the week, the numbers 1 to 5 and lots of food items come up in the book so it's really good for teaching vocab.

The translation of this book is also popular here in Germany so I was worried that the bigger kids (8 and 9 year-olds) might reject it as something babyish. I managed to avoid that by using lots of prediction "Can anyone guess which book we're going to read?" "Who read this book when they were little?" "Can you remember what the caterpillar ate on Saturday?"

I used some of the ideas from Tell It Again: The New Storytelling Handbook For Primary Teachers (by Ellis and Brewster, Longman; ISBN: 0582447771). In addition to ready made material for several books, this handbook gives lots of good general advice about creating activities for picture books.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ana Teixiera's got a great idea for making aprons out of bin bags. She gets the kids to do it themselves as a craft activity.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

That's My Dad (by Ralph Steadman, Andersen Press; ISBN: 1842700111)

This book takes a closer look at parts of the body: eyes, nose, ears, legs, (elephant's) trunk, tail and whiskers. Very simple and they love it!

Here are some activities I did with this book:

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Dinosaur Day (by Liza Donnelly, Scholastic Paperbacks; ISBN: 0590418009)

This book is about a kid who thinks there might be a dinosaur lurking under every pile of snow in his street. They turn out to be a car, a bike, a motorbike and a rubbish bin. I used it for introducing transport vocab.

Here are some activities I did based around the transport theme. I wanted to teach transport vocabulary, but of course you could make a lot more of the dinosaur theme:

Friday, November 07, 2003

The Tiger Who Came to Tea
(by Judith Kerr and Geraldine McEwan, Picture Lions, ISBN 0001006789)

This book has an unlikely guest coming to tea with an ordinary family about 40 years ago. Still lots of fun despite the traditional roles. The tiger doesn't eat the kid but scoffs all her food and looks round for some more. This book provides lots of food vocabulary as well as polite ways of offering food and an insight into British culture.

Here are some activities I did with this book:

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Snap! Snap! (by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins, Picture Lions, ISBN 0-00-662573-8)

This book is about an assertive little girl and some monsters. The pictures are clear, the story gripping, and there's not much text. There is playground vocabulary, a girl, teddy bear, monsters. Monster themes are great for teaching parts of the body. Kids under 4 may find it scary. I used this book as a first lesson with several groups.

Here are some of the activities I did with this book

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