Story Books for Meaningful Learning

Topics: Education, Reading, Educational psychology Pages: 6 (2233 words) Published: October 14, 2010
How can the teacher use story book as a theme to help students to achieve meaningful learning where they can comprehend and use the new words that they learn from the story book? INTRODUCTION
The ESL students of Ironside State School come from non-English speaking background. Therefore, they are lacking or having minimal range of useful vocabulary as they are used to speak in their own mother tongue. Even if they do know how to spell or read the new words, they cannot comprehend or put the words into use as the new words do not have any meaning for them. This action research is based on theme-based learning, where it is defined as a vehicle for teaching a range of skills and content by integrating curriculum areas around a topic (Mumford, 2000). This method of teaching links curriculum and build on children’s interests. Thus, by building on their interests and life experiences, young people’s attitudes, skills and knowledge are developed in meaningful ways. Besides, it activated inquiry and communication thus resulting in enthusiastic participation in the learning process. Therefore, in this paper, I would focus on how I build students’ English comprehension and achieve meaningful learning by using story book as a theme in teaching new words to the students. I choose to use story book as the theme for teaching new words to the students because it is interesting and have graphics and pictures that will equip the visual learners. From the story, I developed activities and plans for the students in order to get them to understand and comprehend the new words that are extracted from the story book.

In this first planned action, the first thing that I did was read the chosen story book by the cooperating teacher. I had to stick with the big book on insects as to follow the teacher’s weekly plan for the 6 pupils of year 2 ESL students. The theme for the week is insects and the aim is to introduce insects and their body parts. Then, to enhance their understanding on the targeted vocabulary, I develop some written worksheet for the students to complete by the end of the session. This is to get the students to pronounce, read and spell the words correctly. Developing activities through a theme has particular benefits for many students with disabilities whose experiences may be limited (National Center to Improve Practice, 1998). In this case, the ESL students are lacking of fluency in comprehending English which is taken as a foreign language. Furthermore, theme enable the entire class to develop a common content vocabulary that they can use to deepen their interactions thus enhanced students’ communication skill as well. A theme-based curriculum can provide continuity throughout the day because teaching students requires a delicate balance between addressing learning needs and personal care needs. The first step in carrying out the plan is to read the students a story using the big book approach. Big book is a magnified or enlarge version of children’s book and is considered as one of the most effective ways of getting young children involved with print (Strickland and Morrow, 1990). Enlarged text and pictures allow all the children in the classroom to see and react to the words and pictures on the page as the teacher read aloud. From my observation, I could see that students love this approach as it stimulated their interest in listening to the story upon seeing large and clear visual diagram of the insects. While reading the big book, I highlighted the targeted words by extracting them and write them on the white board. This was done to enhance the students focus on the targeted words for the session as students can retain words that are meaningful to them, thus word banks can be established (Ashton-Warner, 1963). Then, after finishing reading them the book, I explain and highlight the key words that were picked from the story book. This is done by carrying out the written worksheets. The first one...
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