Book of the month – From head to toe

We all know the book “The hungry caterpillar” or “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see” by Eric Carle. But he wrote a lot more children’s books that are really great to use in an ESL classroom. One of those books is “From head to toe”. It’s really great as it teaches you several topics at the same time and can be used as TPR – so there is a lot of interaction going on!

Topics taught: animals, parts of the body, action verbs and the structure “I can (Can you?)”

The story:

Can you wave your arms like a monkey, clap your hands like a seal or stomp like an elephant? Yes, you can! Are you ready? Here we go! Move yourself from head to toe.

Ideas on how to use the book:

We usually read this book when teaching the parts of the body. I pre-teach the vocabulary (head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, chest; back, hips, knees, legs, foot, toe) with flashcards.  Each time I introduce a new part of the body, we read the page and act upon it (for example. Arms – we wave our arms). We are not reading the whole book in one go, but as many pages as are appropriate for the age of the kids. In the following lesson we repeat and add new pages until we completed the book.

What we love to do then, is to add more animals and action verbs to the book. The kids think about other animals and what they can do. They then come up with an action for us to do, as well. Depending on the age, they put that into writing and draw a picture of the animal.
If the children are very small and can neither write nor draw yet, colouring pictures would be an alternative or simple TPR with their ideas.

Nicole Weber, a speech language pathologist, came up with this cube idea which can be used for games. You can download it for free: Nicole’s article .

Find the video on youtube:

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