I’m as Quick As a Cricket by Audrey Wood. This is one of my all-time favour read aloud books for young English learners. The artwork is captivating and the vocabulary rhythmic, easy and fun. I feel like the children don’t even realize that they are learning. The opening two pages start out, “I’m as quick as a cricket (cover photos), I’m as slow as a snail.” The entire book goes back and forth between many of the most common descriptive opposites that we use in our everyday speech. Quick, slow, strong, week, brave, shy, cold, hot, and so on. On each page our main character, a little boy, imagines he is a different animal, and the pictures are absolutely amazing.
If you are looking to expand your English book collection this would be at the top of my recommendation list. You can also build several lessons around this charming read, including opposites, animals, adjectives and the comparative sentence structure.
Charades: A favourite game of mine that evolved from this book is charades. The children take turns coming to me to get their word. For very young children I use the animals as vocabulary, and for kindergarteners and up I use the adjectives. The child who has his/her turn comes to me to get their word. I show them the page and whisper the word in their ear, then they have to act it out for the rest of the group to guess.
Drawing: I find the artwork in this book to be absolutely amazing. Another activity is to give each child a piece of paper, then open the book to an inspiring page and read it, such as “I’m as strong as an ox.” Then have the children draw their own “I’m as strong as a __________” picture. You might take suggestions from the children before they start drawing to make sure they understands the concept. Ask for some verbal examples, but try not to give them the answers. Instead say “an ox is very strong! What other things are strong?” It’s fun to let them draw two or four pictures, choosing opposites to reinforce the concept.
If you want to purchase the book I recommend The Book Depository, because they offer free shipping worldwide, on any order.
It’s also on Amazon, of course… along with everything you didn’t know you needed until you saw it there 😉
What are some of your favourite books for young English learners?