Friday, 5 March 2010

Why I love using "real books" in the classroom

In the past 18 months I have started to use "real books" in the primary classroom. I have always used the occasional story book but after attending a CLIL course in Las Palmas given by Tim Herdon I developed a real love of them. My favourite author is Eric Carle who is best known perhaps for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

"Real books" are a great resource for primary teachers of EFL. They are originally written for children's enjoyment and have no specific teaching aim, but they can easily be adapted to use in class. They are books originally written and illustrated for English children to read. The best books are ones that are repetitive. They are called pattern books.

There are many pattern books out there but here is a list of my personal favourites:

1. Brown Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle.
2. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
4.Old MC Donald.
5. There was an Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly.
6. The Bad Tempered Ladybird by Eric Carle.
7. Wait and See by Sue Heap.

You can buy these books quite cheaply second hand from e-bay or from an English book shop. If you are interested in seeing some of these books check out u-tube for videos. They are rich in language and structure and can be easily exploited for classroom use and, the children really enjoy them.

Have fun reading!


  1. Hi Leah

    Thanks for your comment on the guest piece on my blog. Please let me know if you also fancy doing a guest piece to launch yourself in the blogging world!

    Great recommendations for books. I did an article and lesson plans for one of them:

  2. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the invitation I would love to. Just waiting for some inspiration!

    I saw your article on Brown Bear and Head to Toe which is also a fave of mine. I really like your blog and the guest posting is a great idea!



  3. Will check out the books you mentioned. Thanks.