8.10.12

TEACHING ENGLISH THROUGH CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKS: ERIC CARLE

Eric Carle's illustrated books are my favorite for teaching very young learners.
I own several of them and they've always been successfully welcomed by all of my students.

I'll try to briefly explain why they are so useful and engaging.

First of all, for the choice of the topics presented in his books. In fact, they perfectly suit very young learners' needs: numbers, animals, colors, food, body parts, days of the week etc. Just to start.

The repetition of the same structure is the second aspect I would certainly highlight. 

During those ages, from 3 to 5, constantly repeating terms and expressions is really important for students to assimilate new words, but, please, be careful!
When I mention the word repetition I'm not suggesting you always do 'the same activity'.

Keep in mind that children of those ages have a very attention span: a period of 10 minutes is the most time they can dedicate to someone or something.

This is the reason why you could actually present the same vocabulary during the whole hour but through 4/5 different activities!!! 
(Also consider a certain amount of time between one block and the other to re-arrange and organize the kids and the space, in order to not hurry and stress them).

That's what I mean with the term 'repetition' and that's what Eric Carle does in his books. He shows the same vocabulary set, for example, animals, but using different situations and landscapes. This way he fully achieves the difficult goal of involving our young learners.

Another aspect is, indeed, the quality of his collages/illustrations: I haven't seen one single child showing indifference once he is facing Carle's colorful and expressive characters.


Some of the titles I usually use:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cover
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR 
- adjectives
- numbers from 1 to 5
- food items
- colors





Do You Want to Be y Friend? Cover
DO YOU WANT TO BE MY FRIEND? (lovely guessing book)
- animals 
- sentence structure
- colors






1,2,3 To The Zoo Cover





1,2,3 TO THE ZOO
- numbers from 1 to 10
- animals
- colors






The Mixed-Up Chameleon

THE MIXED-UP CHAMELEON
- animals
- colors
- body parts
- sentence structure ' I wish I could…'










Brown Bear, What Do You See? Cover


BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR WHAT DO YOU SEE?
- animals
- sentence structure
- colors









Today is Monday Cover


TODAY IS MONDAY
- food
- animals
- days of the week
- colors
- song at the end of the book http://vimeo.com/23553723







From Head to Toe Cover
FROM HEAD TO TOE
- body parts
- verbs 
- sentence structure 'Can you…?
- an activity idea

Related activities and little handicraft are available on his official web:







   



I design series of activities based on a communicative method that will help children to practice the grammar they're learning at school.

Many ESL activities, I see, are nothing more than 'fill in the blank' exercises that only teach kids how to fill in blanks and miss the whole point of learning to speak and understand a new language.

It's much easier and more fun to learn by doing, and you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll see valuable results. 

You can get my activities on my online store:

 
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