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For this month, Tatia has chosen ‘Mabel and the Mountain’, written and illustrated by Kim Hillyard . This picturebook is published by Ladybird Books and won the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards 2020, in partnership with the Book Trust.

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Mable and the Mountain is a story about believing in yourself: “Mabel might be small (in fact, she’s a fly), but she has some big plans, one of which is to climb a mountain. Her friends are distinctly unhelpful, telling her that it’s ridiculous and can’t be done, but Mabel is determined and sets off immediately. On finding a mountain, Mabel starts to climb it. But after a lot of climbing, she’s still only a little way up. There are other, stronger and faster people (and goats!) climbing the mountain too, but Mabel perseveres, and finally, she makes it to the top! Congratulations, Mabel!”

This is a fabulously positive picturebook and most suitable for PELT. It is bright with short text which has been arranged in various ways on the page (e.g. speech bubbles) and printed in different fonts and font sizes. Children love this book and so do student teachers. I think, like their class, they can see themselves in this book. Sometimes, learning to teach English is like climbing a mountain and, like Mabel, student teachers…

  • sometimes feel insecure.
  • need self-belief and courage to walk into a classroom and teach English.
  • need determination and perseverance to develop their language & teaching skills.
  • need teacher educators to believe in them.
  • In the classroom we have completed various ELT activities which will work in the PELT classroom, such as ‘writing a plan’, discussing vocabulary for emotions and sharing tips to stay positive.

    The publisher has kindly prepared some resources and a template to make a plan

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    Read Aloud by the Author