Let me introduce our first guest blogger:
I'm Sara, or Teacher Sara .I'm originally from Lithuania but I am now living in Granada, Spain. I've been teaching English in preschool for five years now and I love it! There are so many resources for teaching English on the Internet, I just felt the need to select the ones I like and use, and organise them in some way, adding some materials of my own that I feel like sharing. So here's my blog:http://saraseflresources.blogspot.com.es/
You know how kids love stories? How their learning thrives in the process of creating something? Well, I took this into account when planning the end-of-the-year project for my 5-year-olds last year.The idea is for them to make a STORY BOOK of their own using as much English vocabulary as possible. Your 4-year-olds would enjoy this as well, especially at the end of the school year.
First, you need to make up a story with simple sentence structure and lots of the words your kids have been learning over the year. Remember: a good story has a beginning, a problem, a solution and a happy ending.
Write the story down, think through the illustrations your kids would be able to draw, and make your own story book as an example. You’ll need:
- several sheets of paper
- a wooden ice cream stick
- adhesive tape
Fold the sheets of paper in half and staple them in the middle (I used 2 staples). Draw a small picture of yourself on a small piece of paper, colour it in and cut it out. Stick it to the ice cream stick with adhesive tape. That’s your puppet! Now make a small cut on the cover of your book and insert the puppet. Write the title and finish decorating the cover. Proceed to drawing the illustrations for the story.
If you are working with 4 or 5-year-olds, you don’t need to write the story down in your book as they most surely don’t read or write in English yet. If you’re doing this with older kids, write it down by all means!
When your story is ready, tell it in class. Use the puppet throughout the pages as you’re telling it. Kids will love the fact that you are the main character. Don’t forget to use a different voice for each character. Now tell them they can make a story of their own! Give them the paper (preferably already stapled) and have them number the pages before they start. This way it will be easier for them to follow the story line without forgetting something.
You need to really plan this ahead as it will take some time. Remember that not only do they need to make the book, but also practise telling the story (by parts, telling it to/with the teacher, to the rest of the class, by pairs, assuming different roles, etc.). I dedicated part of every English lesson for this project and we had it finished in 6 lessons, doing about 2 pages per lesson. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have to help them make the puppet and the cut on the cover.
So here’s my story:
(Obviously, kids write their own names in the title. I had them copy the rest of the frase from the board.)
HELLO! MY NAME IS SARA. THIS IS MY HOUSE. I’M PLAYING IN THE GARDEN. OH NO! IT’S RAINING! IT’S COLD! QUICK! GO IN THE HOUSE!
MOMMY, MOMMY, WHERE’S MY COAT?
-It’s in the closet.
THANK YOU MOMMY!
MOMMY, MOMMY, WHERE’S MY HAT?
-It’s on the table.
THANK YOU MOMMY!
MOMMY, MOMMY, WHERE ARE MY BOOTS?
-They are under the chair.
THANK YOU MOMMY!
MOMMY, MOMMY, WHERE’S MY SCARF?
-It’s on the sofa.
THANK YOU MOMMY!
(On this page I told the kids to choose the items of clothing they wanted to draw, it didn’t have to be the ones I used)
MOMMY, MOMMY, WHERE’S MY UMBRELLA?
-It’s under the bed.
(The puppet looks under the bed.)
NO UMBRELLA… EYES! ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR EYES! (I told them to draw as many eyes as they wanted, as long as they could count them in English)
ARE YOU A SNAKE?
ARE YOU A TIGER?
ARE YOU A BIRD?
ARE YOU A CROCODILE?
(Once more, they could draw the animals they liked here)
-I’m a monster!
WOW! HELLO MONSTER! FOUR EYES! THREE ARMS! TWO MOUTHS! SIX LEGS! WOW! (again, they could draw the number of body parts they wanted, as long as they could count them in English)
THE MONSTER IS SAD. (if that’s how your story goes, make sure they draw sad mouths as they are used to doing happy faces)
WHAT’S THE MATTER MONSTER?
LET’S GO TO THE KITCHEN!
OPEN THE FRIDGE!
I CAN SEE A CAKE!
-I don’t like cake!
I CAN SEE APPLES!
-I don’t like apples!
I CAN SEE JUICE!
-I don’t like juice!
I CAN SEE FISH!
-I don’t like fish!
(They could draw the food they liked here as well)
I CAN SEE SAUSAGES AND TOMATOES!
-I like sausages and tomatoes! Thank you! Yum yum yummy! (make eating sounds)
LOOK IT’S SUNNY AGAIN! LET’S PLAY IN THE GARDEN!
I’M HAPPY! THE MONSTER IS HAPPY! WHAT A HAPPY DAY!
As you can see, our topics that year had been: the weather, body parts, clothes, house, wild animals and food. None of the vocabulary used in the story was new to the children, so it was quite easy for them to learn the story. They were also eager to finish it so they could take it home and tell it to their parents. Their drawings were amazing, most of them draw better than me (which is not very hard though J ).
So the kids were happy, the parents loved it, and the teacher… Well, she was so excited she wanted to share it with you! Enjoy!
Please visit Sara at her blog. Thank you Sara, this is an excellent job. Hope to see you around soon.