Teaching with Bear: Using puppets in the language classroom with young learners

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Teaching with Bear: Using puppets in the language classroom with young learners

A practical handbook with DVD that provides primary teacher training for using puppets in the primary classroom.

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Winner: The British Council UK Award for Innovation 2010 Best Entry for Children: English-Speaking Union's Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award 2009

A practical handbook with DVD that shows teachers how to use puppets in the primary classroom to encourage more interaction in English. Written by award-winning author Mary Slattery. Available as a Pack with Bear puppet.

Would you like to use a puppet like Bear with your primary class but want to find out how to go about it, and how it would benefit your students? This book and DVD gives you all the information, advice and ideas you need.

The accompanying DVD includes interviews with teacher trainer and author Mary Slattery, real classroom extracts of teachers using Bear, and lots of activities and practical ideas.

  • Pack with puppet
  • Pack without puppet

Key features

  • Learn how you can stage your lesson using a puppet
  • Use a puppet to introduce games and songs
  • Use a puppet to integrate English with other areas of the curriculum
  • Include children with special learning needs
  • Watch interviews with the author and real teachers
  • See real teachers using Bear with their classes


Teaching with Bear introduces you to a new approach in your English lessons. It shows you how using a puppet as a language assistant and learner will motivate your classes to learn more English.

Mary Slattery explains how to stage your lesson using a puppet and how to involve a puppet in listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. She also shows you how you can use your puppet to integrate other areas of the curriculum in your English lessons. You'll also see how effective a puppet can be in including all children, whatever their learning needs.

This is a practical handbook, with teaching tasks to accompany the DVD and interviews with the author and participating teachers. The 'thinking about language' sections help you think about your own use of English in class. Reviews at the end of every unit help you reflect and plan.

The book is organized into units:

Starting to use Bear
Bringing Bear into the classroom
Bear supports listening and speaking
Bear and a focus on reading and writing
Bear and other subjects
Bear's influence - making and using other puppets
Over to you
Resources section: transcripts, answer key, photocopiable resources, further reading, useful websites, glossary, index

The DVD shows teachers introducing Bear in a range of primary classes, from young children just starting to learn English to older primary children. You see Bear helping children learn to count, and how children with learning difficulties respond to a puppet. The interviews feature the teachers, reflecting on their experiences of using Bear, and the author.

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