Celebrating Diversity

Our theme for the month of January was Celebrating Diversity and our picturebook of the month was Amazing by Steve Antony. If you missed any of our videos, you can find them here. There are also some additional resources that go with our videos – click here.

Peritextual features
Front cover: Predict who the characters are and what might happen
Back cover: Read the blurb and ask the children “How are you amazing?”
Endpapers: Zibbo the dragon in different positions which could be used to talk about when rereading the picturebook
Title page: Presents the main characters

Teacher education
Using the cover to incite interest
Linking the story to personal interests – unusual pets
Brainstorming ideas for language development
Using the endpapers to develop language related to actions, emotions and numbers
Identifying double spreads that lend themselves to language development – actions, emotions, circle shapes


Visual and transport: Identifying wheel devices and different forms of transport
Disability: Identifying adjustments in the environment which support people with disabilities.

CLELE Article 

Stella Young Ted Talk

Notes from the classroom
Discussing unusual pets – writing a description of ideal pet.
If I had Zibo as a pet – writing activity – practicing action verbs and first conditional.
Amazing Dragons – describing a dragon,writing a recipe for a dragon, finding out about dragon legends in different cultures.

Additional Suggestions

Usually, we try to offer a number of picturebook recommendations throughout the month which align with our theme but this month it was a bit tricky. Whereas we know many books which focus on ‘same/different’, finding books like Amazing where the focus of the story is not the character’s difference, is not easy. So we invited our FB PEPELT community to share their thoughts on the role of hair and celebrating diversity. A number of books have been published to celebrate red curls, afros and cornrows. We wondered if Primary English Language Teachers had ever used picturebooks celebrating diverse hair types, styles and colours in their primary EFL lessons. Here is a link to an interview with the author Hannah Lee who is discussing her debut picturebook My Hair. During this interview, she mentions her loss of hair. We also thought about picturebooks which address the topic of Alopecia. The picturebooks below are popular picture books but we have not yet used them in the PELT classroom.

However, below are a few suggestions suitable for PELT and if you have Here we Are by Oliver Jeffers, check the pages – many celebrate diversity. Check this link, scroll down and you will find teaching activities for Here we Are.