One of my teacher colleagues asked me to be a guest reader at the ESOL summer camp where she is teaching. I jumped at the chance. One, I love to read books to children and two, I would get to see some of our ESOL (or ELL-English Language Learner) students.
Their theme was underwater things, so that opened up all sorts of possibilities. I had to plan for two groups, K-Grade 2 and Gr. 3-5. So many books to choose from!
A House for Hermit Crab and More
I settled on A House for Hermit Crab for both groups and filled in a couple extra books depending on the age group. I designed an activity for the K-Gr. 2 group to go along with the theme in Eric Carle’s book about the hermit crab. His house is too plain.
So after reading the book, I asked the children to decorate their shell with things they liked or however they wanted to make it less plain and boring. I drew a shell resembling Hermit Crab’s and made copies for everyone. I also asked them to add themselves inside the shell.
I also read, Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward and T. J. Marsh. I love Kenneth J. Spengler’s illustrations (as did the children) and it was good for this age group because of the rhyming words.
Shark Lady and Plankton is Pushy-Grades 3-5
I wanted to hook this older group right away so I started with Jonathan Fenske’s Plankton is Pushy. I thought they would enjoy the humor and they did!
I followed up with Jess Keating’s biography of Eugenie Clark, Shark Lady. This short, but engaging story of Clark’s passion for sharks was just right for this age group and setting.
I ended with A House for Hermit Crab, which was also a hit. I had planned to have them build a house with LEGOS, but time did not permit.
I am definitely going to use these books and activities in the upcoming school year.