4 Creating books of the students’ words and pictures

Now try the following activity.

Activity 5: Creating books of students’ words and pictures

This activity is suitable for Classes I–IV, but you can adapt it for older classes.

Create books using students’ own words. If you have a large class, you can make a big book over several days or a week. Alternatively, you can make a book for each student.

  1. You will need magazine pictures to cut out or the students’ own drawings, as well as paste, paper and pens.
  2. Tell the students they are going to make a book in English.
  3. Ask students to think about their favourite word in Hindi or their home language. They can share their word with a friend. Ask them to draw a picture of their word, or cut out a picture from a magazine and paste it onto a piece of paper.
  4. Write their favourite words in Hindi and in English on the board. Practise saying the words in English together, referring to the drawings or pictures.
  5. Ask the students to write the word in English next to their picture of the word. For students who are not yet able to form letters, write the word for them.
  6. Take the students’ individual papers and create a book with the title ‘We Can Read!’ Each page of the book should have a different word, with an illustration or a pasted-in picture, for each student. On every page you write a caption in English for each student that says, for example:
    • Mehak can read ‘ice cream’.
    • Susheela can read ‘festival’.
    • Munir can read ‘car’.
    • Deepti can read ‘computer’.

Read the books and practise English together. Invite parents into the classroom so that students can read the book to their mothers and fathers. Continue to build your class library and develop the reading environment.

You can adapt this activity by:

  • making a collection of ‘I Can Read’ books on different topics such as food, transport, plants, family or parts of the body
  • changing the writing to practise different sentence structures in English; for example, the title of the book could be ‘What Do You Like to Eat?’ with pages that say ‘Munir likes to eat rice’, ‘Deepti likes to eat mango’, etc.

Pause for thought

  • What would you do to make this activity appropriate for older classes? Would you let students choose their own topics? What vocabulary would you focus on?
  • How much English writing would you expect the average Class VII student to do in their own book or in a shared big book?

3 The students’ reading