English Language Learners – Read Alouds & Resources

Someone New

by Anne Sibley O’Brien 

In this companion story to I’m New Here, three elementary schoolers–who aren’t new–begin to understand and embrace three immigrant students. In I’m New Here, readers meet three recent immigrants trying to adjust to a new country and school. In Someone New, the same story is told from the perspective of the students who welcome the newcomers. An honest and heartwarming look at diversity, inclusion, and friendship.

My Language, Your Language

by Lisa Bullard

There’s a new girl in Romelie’s class named Camila. Camila speaks Spanish, and she’s teaching it to Romelie. That gets Romelie thinking. What other languages do people speak? Her own family uses English and American Sign Language. Her mom’s friend knows Somali and Arabic. Can Romelie discover more languages in her city? How are they like her own? How are they different? A diverse cast gives multiple points of comparison.

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

by Margriet Ruurs Artwork by Nizar Ali Badr 

Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe.

Wordless Picture Books:

Blue Rider

by Geraldo Valério 

On a gray and crowded city sidewalk, a child discovers a book. That evening, the child begins to read and is immediately carried beyond the repetitive sameness of an urban skyscape into an untamed natural landscape. The child experiences a moment of true joy, and as if in response to that single blissful moment, people seem to come alive in all the other rooms of the apartment block. Thanks to the power of one book, an entire society is transformed.

I Walk with Vanessa

by Kerascoët 

This book tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help.

Mirror

by Jeannie Baker

In this ingenious, wordless picture book, readers are invited to compare, page by page, the activities and surroundings of children in two different cultures. Their lives may at first seem quite unalike, but a closer look reveals that there are many things, some unexpected, that connect them as well. Designed to be read side by side—one from the left and the other from the right—these intriguing stories are told entirely through richly detailed collage illustrations.

Aquarium

by Cynthia Alonso 

A girl ventures to the water’s edge, dreaming of a new friend. And, just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. But is friendship a sea these two can navigate together? From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.

The Girl and the Bicycle

by Mark Pett

Wordless, timeless, and classic, The Girl and the Bicycle carries a message of selflessness and sweet surprises.

Dual-language Books:

You Hold Me Up

by Monique Gray Smith 

This vibrant picture book encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other’s well-being in their everyday actions. Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.

Breathe

by Sharon Newmaster (Author) 

Rula Fakes (Translation) 

Learn how deep breathing can help you to relax when you are feeling scared or anxious. 

Live Well is series of bilingual (English/Arabic) simple readers that was developed by the Waterloo Region District School board to support the language and psychosocial/socio-emotional needs of newcomer refugee students. It promotes positive mental health strategies to help students and their families prevent and/or deal with symptoms of trauma.

Listen

by Sharon Newmaster (Author) 

Rula Fakes (Translation) 

Learn how listening carefully helps you to focus your attention on the present when you are feeling sad or worried.

Live Well is series of bilingual (English/Arabic) simple readers that was developed by the Waterloo Region District School board to support the language and psychosocial/socio-emotional needs of newcomer refugee students. It promotes positive mental health strategies to help students and their families prevent and/or deal with symptoms of trauma.

The Happy Box

by Sharon Newmaster (Author) 

Rula Fakes (Translation) Yeri C. (Illustrator)

Learn what activities make you feel calm and happy. 

Live Well is series of bilingual (English/Arabic) simple readers that was developed by the Waterloo Region District School board to support the language and psychosocial/socio-emotional needs of newcomer refugee students. It promotes positive mental health strategies to help students and their families prevent and/or deal with symptoms of trauma.

An elementary teacher guides her students to make meaning by talking and exchanging ideas about a wordless picture book. The pedagogical practices highlighted are effective and transferable to other grade levels and teaching contexts.

From https://www.quebecreadingconnection.ca/ela/teaching-videos/elementary-teaching-videos/