One of my favorite and most impactful picture books I enjoy using to teach my newcomers is - "Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah" by Laurie Ann Thompson
Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah's inspiring true story and the fantastic illustrations in the book are a great tool to not only teach English as a second language but also encourage our students to embrace who they are and believe in their abilities and potential.
The first thing I did was check with my public library to see how many books were available to check them out and use in our class. Eventually, I'll buy my own class set!!!
I knew my students didn't know about Emmanuel so I decided to start our weekly lesson with an image of Emmanuel and a video about his life.
When I told my newcomers we were going to enjoy a read-aloud and they were going to write about what they understood - I immediately got blank stares. They knew that just listening to a book in a language they don't master YET, and expected to write about it was just asking TOO MUCH!
So, this is when I introduced sketching. Sketching is a great skill that many people use to demonstrate what's happening in the brain while listening to a talk or a book. The listener will draw something representing the text...is that simple!
I began reading the book and stopped every 1-2 pages or at a very important event. I modeled for students how my illustration (even if not perfect) showed my understanding of what I had just read. We discussed the illustration and made sure students understood what's going on. Of course, the illustrations were clear enough that students were understanding as we read along.
The entire book read aloud took 3 days. Since the reading and sketching were done as a whole group, as an independent/partner work, students used the illustrations and created 5 sentences based on the illustrations of the day. By the time we finished our read-aloud, each student had between 12-15 complete sentences that helped tell the story from the beginning to the end.
Here is the Jamboard activity with the sentences each student created using their own sketches.
This was such a fun activity and students love the book so much that we decided on expanding this lesson...stay tuned for PART II!
Thank you for reading!