The very first Dr. Seuss book I have my students read is Hop on Pop. It’s easy enough in terms of phonics and vocabulary that my students can handle it pretty easily by the time they finish the first book in the Up and Away series of textbooks. Most of my first and second grade classes reach that point by their fifth week in a six hour a week course.


Many of the words in the book are words commonly taught within the first few units of EFL books, and they are well-supported in with colorful pictures.

Other words in the book are known by very few beginner level students. The pictures still provide quite a bit of support, though.

I only specifically translate a few words into Chinese as we go through the book. It can be done on the fly, but giving the students a hand out, or writing them on the whiteboard before class is usually helpful. Here are the words most of my students tend to need help with:

  • fall / 跌倒
  • all (time period) / 整 ____
  • must not / 一定不要
  • town / 小鎮
  • snack / 小吃
  • bumped / 碰
  • went past / 走過去
  • yelp / 叫
  • hill / 山丘
  • still / 仍然, 還
  • other / 另外一個

This book is especially great for phonics-heavy curriculums, such as mine. It provides quite a bit of practice for short vowel sounds, as well as the -igh- phonics rule. The only minor complaint I have is the crazy picture for “hill” on the page in which Will is still up the hill. It really could confuse students, especially in “English only” classrooms.

Related Post: Dr. Seuss is my Friend.