Using Children’s Books in the Classroom

July 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Class, ESOL, Family Learning, Lesson Plans, Teaching | Leave a comment
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It is a good idea to do something different in the classroom. One easy way to do this is by introducing books into the classroom. During the summer session I did this with my level one student’s and to an extent it was a success. We read Clifford Gets a Job and School Bus. My students were excited about reading a book in English. The first one we read wasSchool Bus, by Donald Crews, a hardcover with lots of pictures and few words. They loved that that I asked them to describe what they saw and that I slowly explained the words they did not understand. The book actually got the whole class asking about colors. What color is your shirt teacher? What color is the marker? There was one student that did not know any of the colors, and as a teacher, I was proud of how our class helped that one student learn her colors. “Yellow,” they said pointing to a picture of the school bus. “Red, yellow, green” as they pointed to the picture of the traffic light. “Orange,” said another student as he stretched his shirt. They liked the book so much that they asked me to bring another book for them.

So I brought in Clifford Gets a Job, by Norman Bridwell, which was very relevant since we had just finished going over occupations. The thing about this book is that while it has a lot of very colorful pictures it also has a lot more words and full sentences. This was a challenge for my level one students. It did not go as smoothly as the School Bus book. It unfortunately took me almost the whole class to go over it. I was expecting it only to take about 30 minutes. For longer books I suggest having questions ready to guide the lesson.

-Jose Flores, Lead Teacher and AmeriCorps Member

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