Do your children want to know how everything works? This is the book for you.
Usborne publishing’s book See Inside How Things Work is a fantastic book for helping your child understand how daily objects work. It focuses on five simple inventions that can be found in almost every invention: the wheel, the screw, the wedge, the lever and the inclined plane. Each page is dedicated to a different group of inventions including waterworks; musical instruments; cars and trucks; and flying to name a few. The book does a fantastic job of explaining how simple machines work to make complex systems.
The book is aimed at ages six and older which means that the language is quite simple but can entertain much older children as well. I have personally used this book in my kindergarten and elementary school classes to great success. While they may have only understood half the words they simple diagrams and wording meant they could still get a feel for what was being said. Even the older children learnt things they did not know.
The book is part of a larger series called lift-the-flap books. The whole series covers a wide range of non-fiction and fictional topics. If your children wants to know how something works there is a book in this series for them. With over one hundred and fifty books ranging from space, your body, and dinosaurs to the water cycle, jobs, and the Roman empire.
The books are easy to access aimed mostly at children from the age of 5 but have enough information information to easily keep older children entertained. This also means that the book is appropriate for English language learners too.
If you want to spark your children’s curiosity. Or if your child is already curious about the world and asks a lot of why questions this book and perhaps the whole series is for you.
The oxford reading tree is a fantastic reading resource for kindergarten to the end of elementary school. The series follows Chip, Biff and Kipper’s family. Most of the stories are short everyday family events with a little joke at the end. The humour is British humour so I have often had my students puzzled by the joke but they always want to read more. The early stages of the series are very repetitive and easy to read. This helps build the students confidence as they recognise the reading pattern for the story. Parents who don’t have much English ability but still want their children to learn english can read these to their kids without much difficulty. As the levels get higher there are more sentences added progressing the students’ reading naturally.
There are a lot of additional resources for teachers. My favourite extra is that you can get the series in big book format for a reasonable price. This makes for a good in class reading activity. You can get reading packs for a reasonable price. Or you can bulk the first six books from each level in two batches:
I am often asked for book recommendations. Sometimes from other English teachers who want new resources. Sometimes from parents who want to buy English books for their children. Sometimes from Adults who want to self study. I am going to do a series of articles on what ESL books I recommend for students who want to practice their reading.
The first series I recommend is Oxford Read and Discover. This is a non-fiction graded reader series aimed at upper elementary school students to middle school. I use it for high school and adults as well. They cover a range of topics in three categories; science and technology; arts and society; and Nature. The series is split into 6 levels. Level 1 is in the A1 band which means it is for beginners. Each book includes a picture dictionary of words used in the book and worksheets to check your understanding of each chapter.
I recommend this series because the books are easy to understand. The sentences are adjusted for the level the book belongs too. Although, Level one is for A1 but there is still a gap for a beginner. Readers do need to be familiar with basic sentence structures and have a basic vocabulary. The topics are often about things the students know a little bit about but add new information that they have not learnt before. Many reader series are story based which can be challenging for students to follow. Non-fiction is easier for students to understand because they can link it to what they know. Most importantly, the books are well designed. The pictures suit the text.
In class I have been giving my students one of these books to read a week starting from level 1. As they read through the books they go up a level. The reason I do this is because it is good reading practice and I know the book series is not too challenging for the students to read.
I order this series through my local book store. Ask the owner how to order. They will request the publisher and the ISBN.
In the Kisuki lower class the students introduced themselves and then gave the class a three hint quiz about the objects in their mystery box. Students enjoyed this task and wanted to have a second and third chance to do it.
It was great to see how enthusiastic they were about presenting.
Please note that this youtube video is unlisted so there is no danger of people being able to search for this video.
In the Kisuki upper class the students had to draw a picture using the themes Unnan and peace and then write a presentation about why they drew that picture.
The students worked very hard on the speech and practiced it many times. Many of the students were nervous but they could do it. I’m very proud of them. Public speaking is a difficult skill but will help in their life.
This video is uploaded onto youtube, however please note that only those with this link can see the video. It is unlisted which means no one can search for it and it won’t appear on my channel.
In the Wednesday elementary class we have been practising reading and writing in English. For their presentation they were asked to read from a book they’ve been reading. They have been getting used to the sound of English and the look of various words.