Pictures of 5 different flipbook crafts with the title: Using Flipbooks to teach English

Flipbooks are a fantastic dynamic craft to make with both preschool and primary learners. They provide lots of opportunities for practising English while making them and are lots of fun to use in follow-up activities. The kids can create numerous different combinations so they have the chance to express their creativity.

In this post, I’ll share some tips for how you can teach English with these simple flipbook crafts, and share some ideas of different flipbooks you can make.

Jump straight to the section that interests you from the quick links below:

What’s a flipbook and how do you make it?!

A flipbook is quite simply a booklet where the pages are cut into separate sections. This means that you can turn the sections independently of each other. With each turn, you reveal a new image combination.

You can watch a demonstration of how I make flipbooks for The Smartest Giant in Town story. Teaching tips and activity ideas are in the end segment.

What types of flipbook can you make?

There are three main types of flipbook that I’ve made with my learners. Each of them can be annotated and used in a variety of activities.

Flipbooks that create cohesive images

The Clothes flipbook and The Smartest Giant in Town flipbook are examples of these. By turning the page halves, you form different images.

image of a couple of pages from The Smartest Giant in Town flipbook. On the left there is a goat's head in the top section and a body wearing pyjamas in the bottom segment. On the right, there is a fox head on top and a body with vest, skirt and welly boots on the bottom
Image of flipbook with mixed up clothes and heads

Flipbooks that create different combinations

There are endless possibilities with these! Below you can see examples of one that practises “Do you like…” with fun food and object combinations, and another that combines animals with different actions.

Picture of sample pages from Food and Things Flipbooks - Text + illustrating images = Do you like K _ _ _ _ _ _ (ketchup) on your c_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (cornflakes)?
From the gapfill variation in our the Food and Things Flipbooks resource
Picture of sample pages from Food and Things Flipbooks - Text + illustrating images = Do you like toothpaste on your head?
From our Food and Things Flipbooks resource
Downloadable resource coming soon!

The “Do you like…” one complements Ketchup on your Cornflakes. You could create alternative versions with other questions, e.g., “Have you ever..”; “Are you going to…”; “Can you…” etc.

The animal/action one complements Never Tickle a Tiger, and is designed to practise the story vocabulary through a song I adapted.

Flipbooks to express preferences

These preference flipbooks are great for letting your students make decisions and express their feelings. I made these ones when working on likes and dislikes, but you could equally create versions to express opinions.

How to teach English while making a flipbook

Collecting the page segments

Like a lot of the crafts I make and use, I usually prefer to have the children do something in order to collect the bits they need:

Literacy activities

There are plenty of opportunities for writing and spelling work. Some of the variations I include in my templates include:

Extension activities for after the kids make the flipbook

To some degree, the type of extension activities you choose will be dependent on the type of flipbook you make. Here are a few ideas for the types of flipbook I have made:

Cohesive image flipbooks

Different picture combinations flipbooks

Preferences / opinions flipbooks

Food preferences flipbook cover

Tips for using flipbooks with very young learners

With groups of preschool students, I prefer to construct the actual flipbook myself but I have them stick the pictures in themselves. It would be a bit tricky for them to put the pages together into the cover and staple them. With very small groups of 4 or less I can have them do it with support. More than 4 and the management of the activity tends to get a bit much. Saying that, try to let them do as much as possible themselves. This might mean that you staple the pages together for them and fold the pages before class but you let them cut the pages into segments and colour, or stick the images in themselves.

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