Books every primary school teacher should read

Nowadays there’s a huge variety of professional development materials, books, articles, etc. Teachers are overwhelmed with information and usually don’t know what they should start with, what is relevant to their profession, what they should focus on; which materials are professional, of high quality and are recommended for reading. In this article, I’ll cover some books that I recommend primary teachers. These books are both about methodology and some activities.

  • Teaching Young Learners English by JoAnn Crandall, Joan Kang Shin
17822749 Skyteach
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/

This book focuses on teaching English to young learners (7-12 y.o.) It includes fundamental principles, practical ideas about lesson planning, activities and techniques. There are also different tips from teachers around the world.

  • Teaching Young Learners to Think by Herbert Puchta, Marion Williams
9781107638525 Skyteach
Source: https://www.cambridge.org/

This book includes 80 ELT Activities for Young Learners (6-12 y.o.). There are photocopiable worksheets and teacher’s notes. These fun activities are aimed at developing students’ both language and thinking skills.

  • Practical English Language Teaching: PELT Young Learners by Caroline Linse and David Nunan

It’s a practical methodology book for teachers. It includes principles of teaching young learners; illustrations and extracts from classrooms to see how it’s realised in class.

  • Grammar for Young Learners (Resource Books for Teachers) by Professor Gordon Lewis (Author), Hans Mol (Author)
51zRSChNScL. SX389 BO1204203200 Skyteach
Source: https://www.amazon.com/

This is always a big question “How do we teach Grammar for Young Learners?” It’s one of the most challenging topics for teachers. This book has an answer. This book helps teachers present and practise grammar in a fun way. It puts meaning first, and grammar becomes an essential part of making this meaning explicit.

  • Teaching English to Young Learners by David Nunan 

It’s a comprehensive book that includes chapters on key aspects of TEYL, learning outcomes, references and further reading. It covers the following topics: who young learners are, first language acquisition, teaching all four skills, methods and approaches, teaching systems; learning styles and strategies; parents; the affective domain; technology support and resources; classroom management; assessment and evaluation.

  • Teaching English in the Primary Classroom by Susan Halliwell  

The book demonstrates priorities and strategies for teaching young learners. In addition, it provides guidelines for creating and adapting syllabus. There are also Practical Activities sections.

  • Primary Curriculum Box by Kay Bentley
9780521729611 Skyteach
Source: https://www.cambridge.org/

These are ready-made lessons for CLIL lessons that are aimed at broadening students’ knowledge and adding a cross-curricular element to your lessons. Topics include Art, Maths, Science, Literacy, Drama, Environment.

  • Storytelling with Children by Wright 

Children love stories. It’s natural to use them to develop their English skills to help them grasp the meaning of language points. This book gives a lot of ideas on how to use stories to teach English. There are ready-made stories and activities that can be used with any story.

  • English for Primary Teachers by Mary Slattery and Jane Willis 

This book includes activities, techniques and tips on teaching primary students. The units follow the process of natural language acquisition (listening, speaking, reading and writing activities).

  • Young Learners by Sarah Philips 

This book includes lots of helpful hints for teachers and practical ideas for language practice (craft, drama, games, storytelling, songs, art, etc.).

  • Teaching Young Language Learners by Pinter

This book includes both theory and practice of English Teaching to Young Learners. There’s background information, classroom techniques, practical advice, guidance, examples, tasks, further reading.  

  • 500 Activities for the Primary Classroom by Carol Read

This book is an extensive resource of activities for teaching young learners with no or minimal preparation. There’s a clarification to help teachers understand the methodology behind the activities. Activities are grouped by the topic: reading, drama, art, storytelling, etc. There are also lots of ideas, advice and further reading information to deepen your knowledge of the subject.

  • Bringing Creative Teaching into the Young Learner Classroom by Lynne Cameron, Penny McKay

It’s a great book full of creative, fun and helpful ideas. There are 150 activities and clarifications: “Why does this work?” The sections are Knowing and Challenging your Learners, Encouraging Your Students to Learn, Going Beyond the Coursebook, Empowering Your Learners, Assessment, Playing with the Sounds of English, Bringing the Real World into the Classroom, Using Make Believe, Performance and Metaphor, and For the Teacher: Language and Cultural Contexts.

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