Every year, Halloween becomes more popular here in Italy, so to celebrate the holiday we had a Halloween party! We started our day with this fun Halloween book, TEN TIMID GHOSTS, by Jennifer O'Connell. It's a fantastic Halloween read that's perfect for reviewing the numbers 1-10 in English, which most of my little English Language Learners already "know".
If you plan on using this book in your classroom, I highly suggest bringing along a corkboard with a picture of haunted house and 10 ghosts you can move around as the ghosts go from 10 to 1 to 10 again.
Also, trick-or-treating with your class is a great way to practice PLEASE and THANK YOU. My kids loved it, and even the most timid children are willing to speak in English if they get a surprise in return!
This week we learned parts of the day. The littlest ones learned DAY and NIGHT, while the older preschoolers learned MORNING, AFTERNOON, EVENING, and NIGHT. To introduce the lesson I used GOOD MORNING, GOOD NIGHT illustrated by Melanie Mitchell.
While this is not one of MY favorite picture books, the kids really liked it. And most importantly, it served its purpose helping me introduce the concept of day and night. Each page starts with "good morning" and then folds out to say "good night".
After reading the book and introducing the new vocab, students took turns separating daily activities (brushing teeth, waking up, eating lunch, etc.) into the correct part of the day. For this, I found pictures on the internet and students took turns pinning them to my corkboard. This worked great!
This lesson also gave me the opportunity to introduce a classic song, SKINNAMARINKEEDINKEEDINK.
And we have another hit!! The kids at school LOVE this quirky panda! And while the littlest ones need a bit of help fully understanding the humor, once they get it, they ask to read it over and over again.
To teach PLEASE and THANK YOU, I followed this book with a game. Students took turns hiding "doughnuts" ( rings from a stacking baby toy) under their bottoms while one student headed outside. When the student returned, he/she asked PLEASE to each student to find the doughnuts and THANK YOU when they found one. Students went crazy for this simple game (and it helped them practice using YES and NO from previous lessons.)
Finally, we followed up with a "decorate your own doughnut activity" directly from Steve Antony's website- www.steveantony.com. Of course, students had to ask PLEASE for their paper. :)
Planning today's lesson on YES, NO, MAYBE, I was searching and searching for the right picture book choice. In the end, O couldn't find a good one, so I decided to bring PETE THE CAT: I LOVE MY WHITE SHOES, because I thought the kids would like it (and it does use NO quite a bit.)
I was wrong. They WENT WILD for it! They sang and snapped along, and loved saying "Goooooodness no" with me. We read it three times and I plan to bring it back when we talk about COLORS and also when we talk about FOOD.
I followed this book with a YES, NO, MAYBE activity using the "Do You Like Broccoli Ice Cream" flashcards you can download for free from the SUPER SIMPLE SONGS website, which was another hit.
Last week (our school's first week of English lessons) we were learning the basics: hello and goodbye. The kids loved listening to THE GRUFFALO for the first time in English. And with so much coming and going in the book- "Why fox, hello!" "Goodbye, little mouse" - it's a great introduction to teaching hello and goodbye, especially for kids who typically use the same word for both (ciao means hello AND goodbye).
THE GRUFFALO is a bit long for the littlest ones (i piccoli - 3yo). So rather than keep them squirming (or poking one another) I opted for HELLO HELLO. The colorful pictures of the animals grabbed everyone's interest and the simple text was perfect for the little ones. It was a hit!
In addition to being a writer, I have about the best job in the world. I teach 3-6 year olds English in an Italian preschool. I LOVE using picture books in my ESL lessons as introductions to my daily topics, and just because kids love books.