Shh! We Have a Plan

Tatia’s choice for this month is the award-winning picturebook, Shh! We Have a Plan, written & illustrated by Chris Haughton , published by Walker Books in 2015.

This title is one of my favourites when I want to introduce student teachers to picturebooks in PELT and drama. Here are my 6 reasons why:

  • Some of my student teachers can be a bit nervous when they hear the words ‘English’ and ‘Drama’. This picturebook is text-light and includes repetition of words gestures and settings which quickly help to create a sense of familiarity. Shh! We Have a Plan! helps to keep children and their teachers in their comfort zone as it depicts how the reader / listener can actively join in.
  • The book has a very engaging 36s, wordless trailer which can be used as a point of entry and to set the scene. When viewing, the focus can lie on practising movements such as tiptoeing and on gestures such as indicating ‘stop’ and ‘shh’.
  • The trailer offers a great opportunity to discuss emotions triggered by the music, sound effects, colours and movement. It also gives the opportunity to predict the story and thus offers a natural transition to English language learning, via vocabulary and drama activities.
  • This picturebook offers a way to introduce student teachers and children to using props in PELT with Drama without too much fuss. I usually ask them to simply bring in their favourite hats and dark scarfs.
  • During the read-aloud children or student teachers can easily be encouraged to act along in small groups, some might even volunteer to perform in front of the class. Children or student teachers also quickly feel comfortable reading along.
  • This picturebook is an excellent base to create a class play which children and / or student teachers can act out using words, movement and gestures.

I hope you find these ideas useful and here some more links:

The story behind the story:

The making of: Shh! We have a plan

The story behind the story:


Author read aloud:

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