Favourite Children’s Storybooks part 1

June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Winnie the Witch
Winnie the Witch – my 16-hour felting project

Besides fairy tales the other thing I collect are children’s story books. One of my favourite series are the fabulous ‘Winnie the Witch’ books by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul. If you don’t know them here is a link to the Winnie the Witch website http://www.winnie-the-witch.com/flash.php.

I read them as bedside stories to my daughter and I also love using them in teaching my young learners. One of my favourites is ‘Winnie in Winter’. It is full of ideas which can easily be adapted to teaching a range of topics. Here just the blurb: ‘Winnie the Witch is tired of winter. And Wilbur is tired of frozen whiskers. So Winnie uses a little magic to bring summer to their garden. But just as Winnie settles into her deckchair, hordes of people arrive to share the sunshine…’

So, what can you teach with the book?

The seasons: What is typical for winter? For Summer? With a touch of CLIL: What happens to plants and animals in winter? In the other seasons?

Clothes: What is Winnie wearing in winter? What in summer? Can you design new clothes for Winnie?

Freetime activities: What do you do when it’s winter? What in the other seasons? What could Winnie do so that she enjoys winter? What are the people doing in Winnie’s summerly garden?

About the pictures: How many snowmen are there? What do they look like? Draw your own fantastic snowman! Can you find Father Christmas? What is he doing? Can you find the pirate? And a thousand other funny details? The pictures really invite you to explore them, as there are so many funny little details. These could then lead to telling and inventing other stories…

Follow up: Invent your own spell. Or a magic potion (a few drops of food colour can change orange juice in seconds into a magic potion). Make a class book of spells and magic potions and describe what they are for. Write a script for a play based on the book and act it out.

There are so many things you can do with a bit of imagination. And when you get struck by a little madness like me, you can try to felt your own Winnie the Witch (it might leave you with band aid all over your fingers though – better don’t try it with your students).

So, do you have any other ideas what to do with ‘Winnie the Witch’ books?

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