Mini Picturebook e-Lessons: Guidelines

During school closures in March 2020 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, we begun producing a series of Mini Picturebook e-Lessons. These lessons are for children to complete with teachers and/or parents (carers) at home. They can also be used by teachers working in a classroom context.  To date, we have now completed 24 Mini Picturebook e-lessons.

Age-level suitability

The lessons provide clear guidelines for primary-aged English language learners (ESL, EFL, EAL) to watch and listen to a picturebook being read aloud by an author/illustrator. Within this age range, individual differences in children are especially marked.  There are also vast social, emotional and cognitive differences as well as physical and pscychological differences and a range of factors influencing children’s English language learning.

Picturebooks can be interpreted on many levels and thus satisfy children of different ages, at different points in their English language learning. In order to cater for these variables, the mini picturebook e-lessons cover the CEFR level descriptors pre A1 – A2.  The e-lessons contain suggested activities to pick and choose from within these levels depending on the age, language level and interests of the children and time available.  The lessons can also be easily adapted to suit children’s needs and many activities can span the primary age range depending on the amount of scaffolding provided.

Aims and outcomes

Children will be able to:

  • engage with picturebooks
  • develop their English language and especially their listening and viewing skills
  • find out and research interesting facts and information
  • enjoy meeting and listening to the creator of the picturebook.

Easy to follow action verbs such as ‘predict, act out, think, personalise’ make learning comprehensible and explicit. 

The mini e-lessons contain suggested activities to pick and choose from depending on the age, language level and interests of the children and time available. The lessons can be easily adapted to suit their needs. 

Children are encouraged to share their work with their classmates and teacher to make learning motivating and collaborative and to create a virtual community of learners. 

We hope children will enjoy and learn and that these lessons offer some support for primary English teachers trying their very best to teach English online. Gail & Tatia for PEPELT

Gail & Tatia for PEPELT

The CLELE Journal, Children’s Literature in English Language Education, 9.1 (2021) :

How-To

  • Share the e-lesson link or QR-Code.
  • Inform children they will follow these steps and support children as necessary.
Step 1
The Cover
Step 2
The video read-aloud
Step 3
The video read-aloud
Step 4
Your Voice
Step 5
Your Work
Look at the cover to predict, research information and check key words.Listen and watch (A) the picturebook creator reading aloud for general understanding. Tell children they are not expected to understand every word.Listen and watch (B) the picturebook creator reading aloud to develop observation, listening and comprehension skills.Add your voice to make personal, cross-curricular, and intercultural connections.Share and evaluate your work with your classmates and teacher.

Completing the evaluation sheet

Negotiate with your class whether the evaluation will be a personal activity or a shared activity with you and the class. Guidelines are below for the latter.Depending on the children’s age and level of English, allow them to use their own language or shared classroom language for their evaluation.  This will enable them to give more detailed responses.

Part A: Personal response

Ask children to answer and complete some or all of the personal response questions and sentence stems.  This can be done either as an oral or written activity and can be done individually, in pairs or as a class discussion. 

Part B: Self-evaluation

Ask children to evaluate how well they did by drawing the corresponding face in the books.  Lead a class discussion.  Help children identify what they need to revise or understand better in their next learning journey. Once the children have gained some experience of how to reflect on and evaluate their own learning, they will gradually start asking themselves the questions independently. 

Please note … Activities can be selected according to the age, language level and interests of the child. They do not have do do every activity. Adapt the lessons to suit the needs of your learners.

And finally … The author read-alouds can be listened to and watched purely for pleasure and enjoyment ! They will give children plenty of exposure to rich, authentic English. However, we do suggest you complete some of the Look at the cover activities to encourage children to make predictions about the story from the title and cover illustration, and to appreciate the picturebook’s different features.

PEPELT resources by PEPELT are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0