During school closures from around March 2020 onwards because of Covid-19, we produceda series of Mini Picturebook e-Lessons. These are lessons for children to complete with teachers and/or parents (carers) at home. They can also be used by teachers of key worker children learning in a classroom context.
The lessons provide simple guidelines for children to watch and listen to a picturebook being read aloud by the author/illustrator themselves. The lessons are suitable for primary English language learners (ESL, EFL, EAL) and children will be able to:
- engage with picturebooks
- develop their English language and especially their listening 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
- Share the e-lesson link or QR-Code.
- Inform children they will follow these steps and support children as necessary.
|Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5|
|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.
Personal responseAsk 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.
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.
Available mini picturebook e-lessons
Here is an overview of all the lessons we have created. Some of our lessons (#4, #5) have an additional signed read-aloud by Leanne Signed Stories. Leanne’s videos also promote diversity, inclusion and awareness of British Sign Language (BSL) in mainstream classes that may not have deaf pupils in them in order to make classes more deaf aware. We believe her videos are a valuable addition.
Leanne is a Qualified Teacher of the Deaf based in the UK who was looking for resources to direct her children to during Covid-19 lockdown. She realised that there were not many that children in her class would be able to access as they were either totally oral with no subtitles or full BSL which was difficult for deaf children without fluent BSL language models to access. So she created signed stories using Total Communication which is the communication approach used in her school setting. This approach combines speaking in grammatically correct English sentences but using a mixture of BSL signs, Sign Supported English (SSE) and gesture to complement the spoken word. This way BSL is made accessible to all children to enjoy, whether they are D/deaf, hard of hearing or not.
|Lesson||Picturebook||Synopsis||Themes & Values||World Days|
|1||Amazing by Steve Antony||A story about the friendship between a boy and his pet dragon.||Being yourself, understanding and acceptance, incidental inclusiveness||International Day of Persons with Disabilities|
|2||Wild by Emily Hughes||A story about a feral girl.||Nature versus nurture, being yourself, empathising||World Children’s Day|
|3||Grumpy Frog by Ed Vere||A story about a grumpy frog.||Compromise, tolerance, friendship, apologising||World Frog Day|
|4||The very hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle||A story about the life cycle of a butterfly.||Growth and change||Learn About Butterflies Day|
World Food Day
|5||We’re going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury||A chant-along story about a family who go on an adventure with a surprise at the end!||Companionship, overcoming obstacles, personal growth, finding courage||World Bear Day|
|6||I Am Bat by Morag Hood||A story about a bat who really likes cherries.||Sharing, being open-minded and accepting of alternative options and change.||International Bat Appreciation Day|
|7||There’s a Monster IN YOUR BOOK by Tom Fletcher||A story which shows children how to get rid of a monster in their book.||Persevering, overcoming fear|
|8||Shark in the Park on a Windy Day! by Nick Sharratt||Timothy Pope thinks he can see a shark through his telescope.||Curiosity, tolerating ambiguity, creativity||Shark Awareness Day|
|9||Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony||A story about a panda who has a tray of doughnuts that he offers to his friends.||Being polite and saying please||National Panda Day|
|10||The Cave by Rob Hodgson||A story about a wolf who tries to entice a creature to leave its cave.||Being aware of ulterior motives, feelings|
|11||The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett||All the birds have eggs to hatch except Duck. When Duck finds an egg of his own he’s delighted but the other birds think it’s a very odd egg.||Parental love, protection, accepting differences, feelings, patience||Easter|
World Egg Day
|12||Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen||Norman is a bear who loves honey. He disguises himself as a bee to enter Bee School where he hopes he will have an endless supply of honey.||Friendship and loyalty, heroes and villains, identity, accepting differences||World Bee Day|
|13||Hundred Feet Tall by Benjamin Scheuer & Jemima Williams||A story about a young rabbit who finds a seed on an autumn day and takes it home and plants it. As it sprouts, the rabbit is thrilled to watch it grow “a hundred feet tall.”||Love and friendship, growth and change, care and patience||World Tree Day|
|14||Look Up! by Nathan Bryon & by Dapo Adeola||Rocket wants to become an astronaut, star-catcher and space-traveller. Can she convince her older brother to stop looking down at his phone and look up at the stars and watch a meteor shower?||Science and space, determination, family and sibling relationships||World Space Week|
|15||Max the Brave by Ed Vere||A story about Max, a kitten, who wants to be a mouse-catcher but needs to know what a mouse looks like first!||Determination, bravery, asking for accurate information||International Cat Day|
|16||Beegu by Alexis Deacon||A story about a little, yellow alien.||Inclusion and acceptance, kindness, welcoming newcomers||Alien Day|
International Mother Language Day
|17||The Queen’s Hat by Steve Antony||A sudden gust of wind blows the Queen’s hat off, so she and the Queen’s men set off on an adventure through London in pursuit of the hat.||London landmarks, royalty||Queen’s birthday|
|18||Croc and Bird by Alexis Deacon||Two eggs sitting side by side on the sand hatch. Out comes a bird and a crocodile who think they are brothers.||Love, sibling relationships, accepting differences, animal instincts||Sibling Day|
|19||I Am A Tiger by Karl Newson & Ross Collins||A mouse declares “I am a tiger” and manages to convince other creatures not only that this is true, but that they are not what they think they are.||Identity, creativity, being confident, true or false||International Tiger Day|
|20||How to be a Lion by Ed Vere||Leonard is a lion who loves poetry and daydreaming, and his best friend is Marianne, a duck. But the other lions insist that Leonard should be fierce.||Courage, individuality, friendship, being true to your own beliefs||World Lion Day|
World Poetry Day
|21||The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros||A strange creature arrives pulling a big suitcase and the other animals are curious to find out what is inside.||Accepting and welcoming newcomers, trust, tolerance and kindness, displacement||World Refugee Day|
|22||You Matter by Christian Robinson||A story that will help children understand that everyone matters by seeing how they are all connected. The dedication reads “For anyone who isn’t sure if they matter. You do.”||Seeing the world from different points of view, empathising, valuing others||You Matter to Me Day|