English Book Review part 1

Oxford Read and Discover Series

Oxford Read and Discover (58 titles)

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.

Kindy Class Sample Lesson Drawing Clouds

Good morning everyone

Here is today’s videos.

1st is some word practice. My children said the words aloud. We also played ghost game. You can play ghost game with your family.


2nd is storytime. I read Go away floppy by oxford university press.

ストーリータイムです。私はオックスフォード大学の新聞でGo away floppyを読みました。

3rd we went outside and did some cloud watching. Then we took some photos, printed them out and drew what we saw in the clouds.


Here are some cloud pictures you can print at home:


Here are what my children drew:

Show me your pictures!

Our Stories: Do you know Australian Football?

It’s not soccer, rugby or Grid iron. It’s arguably better than all three. Certainly a lot more enjoyable to watch anyway. Australian Football is a sport unique to Australia. If you could mix all of the above sports into one you’d have something like AFL. it’s very popular. Most of the professional games have at least 30,000 people attending and that’s considered a small crowd. The big matches have up to 90,000 people. The grand final is always a sell out with over 100,000 people going.  So what is this sport and why is it so popular?

Here is a highlights video from last year’s grand final. While watching I wonder if you can answer the following questions:

What do you need to play?

Where do people play it?

How many people do you need to play it?

How do you play it?

Could you answer the questions? It’s a bit tough, fortunately the Australian Football League made a video to help explain this wonderful sport.

Thank you to AFL for making such an easy to understand video.

I hope you all get to see this game live one day. It’s a really exciting sport to watch. Oh and in case you are wondering. Women also play it. Here is the grand final highlights for the women’s professional league, go Brisbane!

Our Stories: Have you ever heard of Car Curling?

The following is an example of a presentation about an interesting sport.

It includes:

What the sport is, what you need to play, how many people you need to play and how to play it.

After reading you can research about an interesting sport too.

A New Russian Sport

I just learned about a new sport this month. It’s called Car Curling. Do you know it? Have you ever seen Curling before? In curling you push a heavy stone along the ice to get it near the target. Car Curling is the same but you don’t use stones. You use old cars. To play you need a a frozen road or an ice rink, some cars, a driver and some assistants. There are two ways to play. The first way you only need two people in each team, a driver and an assistant. The driver starts the car and drives along the icy road. At the assistant’s signal the driver pulls the handbrake up and guides the car to the target. The second way to play, which you can see below, is where the car engine isn’t used. Lots of assistants push the car until it’s fast enough to slide down the ice towards the target. Both look like fun. It could make for a great winter festival activity.