This week we continued our study of body parts— we learned head, arms, tummy, and legs. Teaching body parts is already so much fun, because there are plenty of opportunities for movement. However, pairing this lesson with THIS book made it even better.
For anyone who hasn’t read I AINT GONNA PAINT NO MORE by Karen Beaumont and brilliantly illustrated by David Catrow, it tells the story of a child who loves to paint so much, he paints himself top to bottom, one body part at a time.
“So I see some red, and I paint my...
Now I ain’t gonna paint no more.”
The story can be sung to the melody of “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More”, which makes it an especially fun read aloud.
A few suggestions. First, make sure you point out the illustrations on the first few pages and highlight what’s happening. (The mom confiscates all the paints, but the sneaky little boy finds them!) This will help the kids follow the story later on.
Second, really get into it. This is one of those read alouds that could go terribly wrong in the ESL classroom, because it’s not a traditional “story” and much of the textual humor comes from the rhyming. However, the illustrations are absolutely delightful and tell most of the “story”. As long as you “act out” the book well, I’m certain your class will love it. Mine sure did!
For our activities, we put together these cute animal puzzles from itsybitsyfun.com and practiced the words HEAD, TUMMY, and LEGS. I gave each student a piece of the puzzle and asked who had a head, tummy, legs and a tail, etc.
Then of course, we couldn't miss a chance to do some teacher-led SIMON SAYS. "Tap your tummy. Shake your arms. Lift your leg. Etc." That’s always a preschooler favorite, and leads to lots of laughs (and falling over. Why do preschoolers love to fall over so much?)
Finally, the 4-6 year olds FLIPPED over this "My Monster" activity I created. As a class, we rolled dice to decide how many HEADS, EYES, NOSES, LEGS, ARMS, and FINGERS our monsters had. It was a great listening activity, and also good practice with numbers. The finished products are too cute!
Looking for a fantastic read aloud to accompany your lessons about body parts? HAND HAND FINGERS THUMB by Al Perkins is the perfect book. This book was one of my childhood favorites, and it’s lost nothing over the last 30-odd years since I was a kid. My students asked to hear this over and over again— literally 7 or 8 times— and I happily abliged! After all, repetition is the key to learning.
Suggestions - this book has a great beat. Get your students clapping, stomping, or drumming along.
We followed this book with a FIND THE HAND game. I placed hands, thumbs, and fingers all over the floor, then called out a word. Students had to run and find the right picture as quickly as possible.
With "i piccoli", we played a modified version of musical chairs, with the hands, fingers, and thumbs.
For our paper activity which will eventually end up in their English journals, we made hand, finger, and thumbprints on this fun worksheet I made.
I hope you have as much fun with this read aloud as I did!
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. My goal with this blog isn't to highlight the most "of-the-moment" picture books, but rather to present books that work well for ESL learners and that are accessible to teachers living all around the world. If you're an ESL teacher who loves books, then this blog is for you.