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A new book from Sandra Boynton

In the post this morning I received an exciting package – a new book that I wasn’t expecting until mid September! I love Sandra Boynton books – Moo Baa La la la was one of my sons’ favourite books as toddlers and Azul el sombrero, Verde el sombrero was a massive hit when I recorded it for KS1 in lockdown (I received several reports and even videos of children exclaiming ¡Ay caramba!) so when I saw that she’d published a new book, I preordered it!

The book is all about emotions. Here’s the opening page that sets up the whole book:

Each page then features an animal and an emotion. Here are the first two pages:

All the emotions go with estar and include enérgico, gruñón and contenta. As you can see from the sample pages and the examples I’ve given, the adjectives are presented in masculine – enojado, enérgico – and feminine – contenta – forms as well as those that are unchangeable – triste, feliz.

I love the illustrations which make the book. All the animals have their own characters and also demonstrate their emotion brilliantly. I also like that there is some more unusual vocabulary like complacido (contented/pleased with yourself) and confundida (confused) which opens up discussion of confounded being another (stronger) way of saying confused.

The final message of the book is that whilst the hope is that everyone is happy, it’s OK if you’re not, you’re amongst friends and that emotions change day to day.

It’s a lovely stand alone book but would also be good to introduce and/or review :-

  • animal vocabulary
  • estar + adjectives
  • use of muy (and potentially bastante) to qualify the extent of the feeling
  • masculine and feminine nouns (cerdo and hipopótamo are masculine nouns but are presented in feminine form as the animal is female)
  • the diminutive -ito/a
Una rana contenta

Having read the book, I’d try some of the following:

  • Asking the question ¿Cómo estás? and looking for a reply starting Estoy... (I am….)
  • Ask the question ¿Cómo está (animal)? to use the 3rd person with replies (animal) está (emotion) which requires learners to swap the indefinite artilce in the text for the definite article in their reply e.g. ¿Cómo está la rana? La rana está contenta
  • Make new sentences about animals and emotions based on pictures (see below for some possible ones!)
  • Make similes using the structure [adjective] como [animal] e.g. enfadado como un león; hambrienta como una cabra; listo como un búho

I thoroughly recommend the book – and all of Sandra Boynton’s books as they’re great fun but also great to spark ideas and activities.

What do you think?

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

When I was in Barcelona a couple of years ago, I found a couple of books by Imapla that I loved, both very simple but also quirky.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.17.38 Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.17.50Tu ¿cómo estás? is one of them, a large board book about how people are feeling, using ESTAR. Each double page has just three words – name + está + ’emotion’ adjective and a  drawing of the child in question. The quirky drawings  show the emotion but so does the font in which the emotion is written. And the final page asks the question of the reader with a mirror.

I love reading it as a bit of over acting is ‘required’, and learners love joining in. After the first reading, I reread it substituting the names in the book with those of members of the class; as a child is named they get to act the emotion or feeling. On the final page, I ask individuals to respond by choosing an emotion from the story. I model the first person ‘Estoy…’ with my response but don’t necessarily expect it to be used in responses. We might then add more emotion words to give more choice, then make our own versions. We might make a storyboard with 6 boxes, the final being the question. Or a mini book from a single sheet of paper. We might take photographs of learners demonstrating emotions and make a big book with the photographs. Or we might use BookCreator app on the iPad to make an ebook with photographs or drawings, text and embed audio as well.imaphoto

 

This book is a great one for linking with PSHE about feelings – many classes have a board on which pupils indicate how they’re feeling at certain times of the day by moving their name to an emoticon, and having read this book, this activity could be done in Spanish too. And another aspect of the book, the use of calligrams (writing the word to show meaning), links well to word processing and ICT, or alternatively art if you do it by hand!  Nervioso might be quite straightforward, but how might you show enfermo or celoso? Would you use colour, shape, texture?

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.09.17

(examples in English from Twinkl)

So, lots of ideas from a very short, simple book!

20/08/13 – I’ve just recalled this Storybird that I wrote that. although not all the feelings go with ESTAR, fits well with this story.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 16.24.18

In this Youtube video Imapla shares another of her books – I haven’t found that one in print. Yet! But I’d like to use it as it challenges the colours we normally associate with objects like the sun and the sky and gives colours to things like the wind and holes.

I’ll share the other book tomorrow in my next post.

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