Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hop on Pop by Dr Seuss

(Graded Reader)

Because I've been doing these books as I find them, I've not done a very good job of arranging them in level of difficulty.  I just got done with Strega Nona, which had very complex sentences for an ESL class.  And now I'm doing Hop on Pop, which is incredibly easy and simple.

If I ever go through these materials again, I'll try to sequence them better.  For the time being, however, I figured a little bit of jumping around in difficulty wasn't the end of the world.  It was good to challenge the students with something above their level every once in a while, and then it was also good to give them something easy to build up their confidence.

If you only have vague memories of this book from childhood, I'll recount it briefly:

This book was designed to teach young children how to read, so it only features very short words.

It was designed for native-speaking children, and some aspects are not ideal for the ESL classroom.  For example the word "pop" as a synonym for "dad" is very easy to spell and to pronounce, but low-frequency enough that it probably isn't of much use to a beginning ESL student.
Other words like "still" are also easy to spell, but have a meaning that is difficult to explain to beginning students.
And sometimes Dr Seuss tries to force rhymes with words that are spelled similar, but actually pronounced with different vowels (e.g. "wet" and "get") which could cause confusion to ESL students still learning pronunciation.

All those caveats aside, however, I have to say that this book worked well in my class.  Although it was slightly below the level of my students, they still enjoyed at it, laughed at the pictures, and hopefully got something out of it.

In my class, I also used this youtube video to supplement the book.



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.

Google Slides: Part 1 (slides, pub) 2 (slides, pub)

Worksheets: Part 1 (docs, pub) 2 (docs, pub)

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky on NATO 

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