Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler

(Graded Reader)

Another Graded Reader which is not technically a Graded Reader.  This book was not originally meant for the TESOL classroom, but just generally as a children's book.

Nevertheless, it was in my school library for use with the children's TESOL classes, and I thought it worked well.

The repetitiveness of the book makes it ideal not only for young children, but also for those children learning English.  (Repetition is, after all, the key to language learning).
The rhythm and rhyming of the book are another bonus.  Even though the story is rather childish, the hypnotic rhythm of the lines drew me in.  (Although, in the interest of keeping everything fair and balanced, here's a link to someone who thinks The Gruffalo actually has terrible rhythm.)

The language in the book is not as graded as one might wish for the TESOL classroom.  And in fact, in the copy at my school, some teacher went through and crossed out many of the words, and then penciled in suggested alternatives.  "A mouse took a stroll," becomes "A mouse walked".  Etc.
When I used this book, however, I opted to just keep all the original words.  (I don't know--maybe I should have graded it more, but I thought my students would still be able to understand everything, and so I just stuck with the original words.)

The book is available on Amazon.com here.

Addendum:
Here are some supplementary teaching materials I made when teaching this book in my classes.  These materials don't really work too well independently of the actual book, so you'll need to get a copy of the book to use these.
When I taught this book, I divided it into two parts and spread it across two lessons.

PowerPoints: Part 1 (driveslidespub), Part 2 (driveslidespub)

Worksheets: Part 1 (drivedocspub), Part 2 (drivedocspub)

Update, when re-using this for older students, I put PowerPoints 1&2 together into one massive Slideshow (slides, pub)

Link of the Day
Chomsky On Hatred Against Arabs

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