Using Picturebooks with Children

This webinar with Gail Ellis looks at using picturebooks with primary.

About the webinar

Using picturebooks offers an innovative, flexible and motivating approach to language development in a visual, literary and cultural context, as it allows you to bring multimodal representation into the classroom. This session shows how picturebooks selected from the British Council’s Drawing Words exhibition can be used to help children of primary school age develop English as well as visual and emotional literacy.

About the speaker

Gail Ellis, Advisor Young Learners and Quality, is based at the British Council in Paris. She has published widely in the field of young learners and is co-author of Tell it Again! and Teaching children how to learn. She is an advocate for children’s language learning rights and her main interests include children’s literature, ELT management, and inclusive practices. She is a member of Picturebooks in European Primary English Language Teaching (PEPELT).

Find out more about our related webinar - Writing stories for ELT Primary

Watch a recording of the webinar below


Submitted by Jason Jixun M… on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 22:45


Using pictures with primary, in practices, can motivate learners' imagination in the procedure of learning, visualize their life into the understandings of textbook, and make some difficult points and abstractive definitions in language learning much easier to handle in... I expect that it's a great chance for teachers' communication. Maybe, its time, right then, is a little bit of difficult for me to take part in... Webinar technology can record it for further watches, reviews, and training 'between 24 and 48 hours'... that's quite great! Thanks very much for this meeting and congratulations!

Submitted by Jason Jixun M… on Tue, 11/13/2018 - 14:45


If you asked me the first impression in touching Gail's 'Using picture book - Drawing words' online Live-presentation, I would say: Oh, the way is very simple to follow, operate, even create for local teachers and teacher educators; but meaningfully, freshly, vividly and interestingly when using. To me - a bilingual piano teacher, it's quite treasured to store and apply some elements into subject-teaching... for enlightenment and innovation. Hi Jason, are you joking? What you are teaching is piano, and sometimes, for understanding music in some better ways, you put key words of action-guides, descriptions and musical theories for your students, why were you interested in picture-book, this time? Oh, friends, let me state it clearly... Music, sometimes, is very abstract to understand, requiring students' imagination, scenes & dimensions formation and emotional reaching... Learning piano (exercises for numberless times), if without the vivid senses of music-pictures, the self-interesting with full emotions and the ability of dimensions-forming in mind, will be very boring and hard to continue for both learners and their families... But, those complicated things may require a highly natural genius (or love) in young time like Mozart's, or many years' painful trainings like practising Chopin's or Beethoven's... Could there be some simple & short-crossing & imitating way hidden somewhere, there, but we didn't know...? Or, why can some learners soon get some tasks' ideas & techniques, but some harder? Indeed, many things were still kept unknown, but some 'windows' might be opened by teaching methods... Would you truly want to see what a piece of piano music(or to say, one most favorite piece) was like in your learners' inside world and what type of life story he or she would like to talk to you while hearing or practising a piece of piano? (Like yours or quite different) Or, something, to you and to many other learners & listeners, can form some similar life-scenes... like moonlight, a river, a sea, a legend in forest... from childhood ? I think some psychologists and 'Wild girl's psychists' may give many answers... But, Gail and her team's way is very simple to follow and practise for teachers, meanwhile, humanitily protected and happily use to kids... I can remember after back from UK, I took many picture-books as gifts to my relatives, and read for my own students... some from BBC's... During the time I was in UK, I had many great experiences in my spare time travelling from one second-hand items-store to another, for some cheap and charitable picture-books... Sorry, to be very honest, I, myself, have limited but useful money... Oh, great memories... sorry, tears almost out... You may see me like a kid... piano-kid... Yes, still, some picture-books, on 'heads of bed' may make me easily sleep in a long night; and some may increase the parenting bones between parents and their kids... It's an emotional traditions I saw in UK... Turning back again, currently, the difficulty observed for many years, might be possibly solved by ... the operation of picture-book... Are you sure, Jason? Sorry, I am not sure... the ones who loved piano are truly loving... the ones who had to might still had to...; but if still some hopes to know this beautiful world, I would like to try... But Jason, in this time, where is you and your possibly following learners' picture-books... for piano melodies (all depending on students' 'likes' and all-inclusive if like)...? Hi, friends, I have got an idea: we would try to help kids build one by their own hands... Indeed, many steps have all been clearly discussed by Gail's self-reflexivity in the video, such as 'Draw emotions', 'feeling map', 'giving illustrations (key words)', 'story-making', 'rhythming', 'acting out'... and two very great examples from kids' eyes - 'A Dog Day' and 'Wild'... And in addition, firstly, I might add some steps like - choosing one piece of piano from the most favorites, dividing sections for pictures in imagination and life, and drawing out in a notebook... Hi, Jason, if some students have no skills of drawing, how to do? Hi, friends, Mobile-phone and to picture their life... Hi Jason, if some cannot give good English illustrations, how to deal? Oh, friends, as Gail mentioned... firstly, home language for rich data, and then translating some key words for their own memories... Hi, Jason, if some still cannot take difficult piano tasks well but merely focus on pictures? I have one experience that when 'emotional reaches' were really there, I will not fear some difficulties and easily change my physical situations to take the tasks... At least, they can appreciate and imagine a good piece of their heart-store music... Hi, Jason, the last one... if some really dislike either piano or picture-book-making, and were forced to your place...? Oh, I beg... Gentlemen (Gentlewomen) , please forgive your poor piano teacher... if you really don't like something, you really don't have to do... It depends on your own heart and nature. But if you like, you need to take both the enjoyment and the responsibility on your own piano road. Even a little bit of progress and try, I will give you the encouragement which I can give... I think those above are almost all what after I took Gail's Webinar talk... Really thanks, Gail, 'To be positive'... at least, it gave me - a bilingual piano teacher - a possible doorway to see piano & music in the imaginational world of the reality.

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