Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Apple Trees

From Learner Publications, there is a life cycles series on their First Step Nonfiction books. It is a wonderful series that has all I love in books for English Language Learners. The pictures are beautiful uncluttered and specific. This series is great for all Levels. I like to use it for levels 1and 2 students in the 4th and 5th grades. It is a great way to give them rich content in a simple and straight forward way. The Glossary is very well explained but, most of all, I love the facts page that help the students research further. Also, the cycle pictures are excellent for them to practice re-telling and sequencing words. We just finished studying the Apple Life Cycle and the students had a blast! We've practiced simple present tense/third person as well as past tense verbs in particular. Sequencing, Verb Tenses and Literary Skills - nonfiction. Three birds with one stone!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentine's Day: Candy, Love and Hearts by Elaine Landau

Valentine's is my favorite holiday! I don't know why but, ever since I was in Kindergarten I have asked my mother to buy candy and Valentine's for me to give to my friends and teachers. Now, I do make a big deal about it with my students. So far, I haven't had any complaints. This book is one of eight books from a series called Finding Out About Holidays. All the books are great but I like the Valentine's Day one in particular. It is very complete because it gives you a couple of versions about the origins of this Holiday. Particularly cool for the ELL students is that it includes a chapter of "Valentine's Day Weddings" with pictures from couples from different countries and faiths. It also explains the typical Valentine's staples -- candy, hearts, valentine cards. It even includes a craft. The one thing that I love though, is the list of "I love you" in different languages. It 's a great opportunity to have students share their native languages and talk about a splendorous thing! If you use it, I'd love to hear how you like it.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Except the Color Gray by Arlene Alda

The color gray is a hard one to practice. This book gave me the idea to have students find something they like that is gray in color or has some gray in it. So simple, isn't it? It is great for Kindergarten students at the Beginner/Early Advanced levels but, the pictures are so good it really is a great book for anyone who loves to read about colors.
Another great thing about using this book is teaching the meaning of the word "except". This story clearly explains what "except" means. I am sure your students will love it!
On an interesting note, the author is the wife of the actor: Alan Alda :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Job Site by Nathan Clement

Job Site describes in wonderful drawings in interesting perspectives about the vehicles needed in a construction site. I read this book when I need to go beyond SUV, space shuttle and tractor. It has good specific information about this type of vehicles, but the illustrations are fantastic because they clearly show each action described in the pages. I use it with I/EA level Kindergarten students mostly but, it can also be used with beginners in upper grades. The language is basic but specific. Besides vehicles, I use it to practice looking for things that are gray. It's just a delight! Check it out!