Elmer Finds New Friends: Read with Me tutors on the effects of reading
The influence of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant on children from different regions of Iran has proved time and time again how by choosing a quality book, one can indirectly teach living values and create joyful, creative moments for children.
This time, you can read the experience of Read with Me tutors in Khouzestan about how Elmer affected their students:
Book Name: Elmer the Patchwork Elephant
Date: December 2019
Age Group: 4-5 years old
Location: Gouriyeh, Khouzestan
Today, when children came to the library, they asked us to take them to the yard to play and exercise. We asked them one by one to think of an exercise move for everybody else to follow. “Can we make a human train?” Fatemeh asked. It was a wonderful idea! We were all playing when Hossein joined us. He is a little boy who lives near the library. He is a little different from everybody else since he has physical and speech problems. He wanted to join the train we had made, but children wouldn’t let him in. “Why don’t you let Hossein play with us?” We asked children. “Because he is not our friend.” One of them replied. “Why is Hossein not your friend?” We asked. “Because he is not on our class…”
Reading Aloud Session
I saw the opportunity fit for reading aloud Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. While reading aloud, I showed them the illustrations, attracting their attention to the differences. They looked at the elephants with delight. “This elephant is really big!” Yousef said. I encouraged them to find the smallest elephant. I also asked them to name the colors of Elmer. They learned color names they hadn’t heard before; colors such as grey. In the end, I asked if they thought all elephants were alike. “No, Elmer was colorful. But the rest were grey.” Hossein answered. “One of them was very big.” Narges said. “What about us? Are we all alike?” I asked again. I explained to children that we are all human, but all humans are not completely alike. Some are girls and some are boy. Some may be fat or thin. Some have hands and feet, while some may not… We talked for a while about our similarities and differences.
“Would you read the story again?” Hossein asked. I read aloud Elmer the Patchwork Elephant once again.
By the end of the book, children took each other’s hand again to play. Hossein was playing by himself, in a distance. Abolfazl came to me and asked “Why doesn’t Hossein come play with us?”
We were delighted to see how fast children had accepted Hossein.