Recently I was asked to provide Year 6 classes with historical research skills focused on inquiry to investigate primary and secondary sources. The students were at an early stage of a historical inquiry unit involving investigation of stories of groups of people who migrated to Australia and the reasons they migrated. In addition, students will be inquiring into their personal history that has shaped who they are, their community and identity.
By coincidence, I am currently completing the subject – Describing and Analysing Education Resources which involved investigation of Trove as an example of a federated search system managed by the National Library of Australia. Knowledge of Trove’s access to extensive online resources enable me to demonstrate to students a way to search and access digitised primary sources such as photos, journal entries, and newspaper articles from the past. As Trove is comprehensive it was important to provide students with suggestions of what to search, how to search and how to review the search results.
What to search:
Start with a nonfiction book at the student’s level. Highlight images and image captions as a source of information and keywords that would be useful to use in a search. For the migration example, I used Bonegilla Migrant as the keywords and then demonstrated a search. We were able to view various images, including the photo of a group of men playing volleyball on Trove which was the same photo in the text. We also accessed a Certificate of identity, for Irena Terkiewicz, relating to her immigration to Australia, 1949 after viewing this in the Migration text. From the book Coming to Australia: post-war immigration by Australian Geographic, 2015, we located important keywords such as displaced persons, refugee camps and the name of the Minister of Immigration in 1945, Arthur Calwell which lead us to newspaper articles from that time frame.
How to search:
Trove has created a video explaining how to search, taking a few minutes to view this and then some time to explore is highly recommended.
How to review the search results:
Understanding the different zones assists with viewing the results. Two important things to refine a search include selecting a time period or decade and clicking the Available online option.
Although we are at an early stage of investigation, Trove provided a platform to guide students to sources of information for their research rather than just using Google. Searching for family names was very stimulating for students, one student searched for the name of an invention by a great-grandparent and came across a newspaper article from 1913.
Trove provides a wealth of opportunities for teaching and learning purposes. Being able to access articles, photographs, and letters from the past is extremely valuable for historical research and inquiry learning.
Our school library display cases are ready for Book Week 2018 – Find Your Treasure! The first case features children’s literature maps from the books in the suitcase. The picture book A child of books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston is opened on the page “and upon my imagination I float.” Handmade mini treasure books, CBCA Find Your Treasure bookmarks and badge are also presented.
The following display is based on the theme of treasure you find in books. Year 1 and 2 students responded with superb ideas reflecting on the theme including – reading is special, a treasure in a book is a character you meet, books are so good you want to keep reading, find your special book. The display features Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates; Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson, Lucy’s Book by Natalie Jane Prior and illustrated by Cheryl Orsini; and The Everywhere Bear by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb. There are also handmade mini treasure books, and sections of the Find Your Treasure Book Week 2018 poster designed by Anna Walker.
Back by popular demand, the QR Code Short List Treasure Hunt is sure to engage students. The QR Code Treasure Hunt has a question for each of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Short List books in the Early Childhood, Picture Book and Younger Readers categories.
- Print out the QR codes and place them around the library (or school)
- Print out answer recording sheets for students
- Students scan the QR code, a question will appear – answer the question on the recording sheet
- Once all six QR codes have been found and six questions answered place answer sheet in an entry box
- The first fully correct answer sheet drawn from the box wins a prize!
On Wednesday evening last week, the newly formed CBCA NSW Branch Inc Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch was launched! It was an inspiring event attended by almost 80 guests – a mix of children’s book authors and illustrators, publishing industry professionals, teachers, librarians and parents. The evening not only raised the profile of children’s books it also brought together a community passionate about a good story and admirers of the artistic talent of children’s book illustrators.
Gail Erskine the President of the Children’s Book Council of Australia NSW Branch Inc and Morag Tunks the President of the Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch welcomed guests and provided history of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, its growth and strength in connecting children with quality Australian literature since 1945. Continue reading
Each year The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) promotes and celebrates children’s books with the major event of Children’s Book Week during August. The 2018 Book Week theme is Find Your Treasure.
The six CBCA short list book categories offer schools a wealth of opportunities to engage with reading, respond to, and celebrate literature. Exploring the short list books aligns with the Australian Curriculum and provides important opportunities to build students’ literacy skills by incorporating rich, objectively selected, and aesthetically valuable texts.
This Post provides a landing page for a variety of ideas to connect with Book Week this year. A SCIS Connections article I wrote in 2017 Read, respond, celebrate: engaging with the CBCA short list provides some background to the ideas presented below.
Exploring the Short List
Create a book character bunting display
Year K – Read and explore the Early Childhood short list, focus on the main character. Create your book character bunting – students select one book and draw the main character, as an extension write the characters name and book title. Using ribbon arrange and tape the students work – hang for all to enjoy!
Step Inside the Character
Year 1 – Imagine if you could step inside the character in a picture book. Explore the Early Childhood short list using the Visible Thinking Routine – Step Inside the Character. Visit a previous Post for more information.
Exploring story elements
Year 2 – What makes a great picture book? Explore story elements of the short list Early Childhood books to design and create a diorama. Visit a previous Post for work samples, a lesson sequence and templates.
Colour – Symbol – Image
Year 3 – Explore the short list Picture Books to discover what ideas and connections can be identified in picture books. Visit a previous Post for work samples, a lesson sequence and templates.
Year 4 – Explore and examine the short list Picture Books to discover and identify visual literacy vocabulary and techniques used by the illustrator. Visit a previous Post Visual Literacy – Some Examples to access the guide and background. Additional information can be found via a Guest Post I wrote in 217 for Softlink.
Celebrating the theme
Create a display in the library that promotes the Book Week theme.
Create a voting chart for younger students, provide each student with a star to place next to their favourite book. For older students create a Google Form or digital voting chart.
Use the Book Week theme to make a short promotional video that can be used in the school assembly.
Competitions and lunchtime activities
QR Code Treasure Hunt
Back by popular demand, the QR Code Short List Treasure Hunt is sure to engage students. The QR Code Treasure Hunt has a question for each of the CBCA Short List books in the Early Childhood, Picture Book and Younger Readers categories. Full details 2018 QR Code Short List Treasure Hunt.
Missing Book Character poster
Imagine if a book character went missing! Write a Missing Poster so they can be found. Full details including instructions and templates click here.
Postcard from a book
Imagine if you stepped inside a book! Who would you meet, where would you go, and what would you do? Write and draw about your book visit using the Postcard template. Full details of this activity click here.
Design a Book Trailer
Create a book trailer for a book or the Book Week theme Find Your Treasure. Organise a production team, make a plan, get filming! Keep your trailer between 1-2 minutes long that way it is short and sweet! Visit Tristan Bancks webpage How to make a book trailer for a wealth of information and to keep you on the right track.
During the week we set up our library displays for National Reconciliation Week, 27 May – 3 June 2018. This year we also created a display for the school reception. Sourcing the information and artworks for the displays is always a stimulating experience. Our workbench was covered in texts and illustrations until we linked the pieces together to create a theme and exhibit an outstanding range of resources.
- Reconciliation historical theme featuring a timeline and background information from the Macmillan history resource book Indigenous Australians before and after British settlement. Stunning artwork by Bronwyn Bancroft Colours of Australia and Shapes of Australia; The Toast Tree by Corina Martin and Big Fella Rain by Beryl Webber both illustrated by Fern Martins and published by Magabala Books; an Aboriginal girl and Aboriginal Warrior doll.
- Art and storytelling displaying artworks from my personal collection, Animals around the Billabong by Mike Ingram, and Macmillian’s Year 4 History Anthology How People, Places and Environments Interact.
- Land and sea display showcasing First Australians by Carolyn Tate; Let’s Learn about Bush Tucker by Matthew Ingram; When I was little, like you by Mary Malbunka; Children of the Great Lake by Percy Trezise; a bark painting, and a traditional Aboriginal family doll set.
For information about National Reconciliation Week, a visit to the official website is a must.
At the end of last year, I attended a meeting about an idea of forming a sub-branch of the Children’s Book Council – NSW Branch to provide for the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. During that meeting, we decided to make it a reality and formally started the creation of the CBCA NSW Branch Inc Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch. During the initial meeting I was voted in as the Secretary, we have had three Committee meetings and next month we are holding a launch night.
So far it has is a very positive experience, we have been very busy making plans for the launch and a children’s event that will be held in October this year. I am very proud of our invite flyer designed by Cate James. It would be wonderful if you could make it to the event!
During Term 1, Year 2 were busy investigating Stage 2 Geography – People and Places
For the library sessions, I focused on places in Australia and how people connect to places. I see the Year 2 classes once a week for a half hour lesson. I generally plan a series of lessons that allow students to progressively build on knowledge, skills and understanding. For this series of lessons, two picture books provided stimulation for the learning activities.
In summary, the two books were explored, students were guided through searching for places using Google Earth, labelling maps and reflecting on how the characters in the books connect with their environment. As a final reflection, the children wrote about a special place where they live.
The picture books included:
Hello from Nowhere by Raewyn Caisley.
Our Island by Alison Lester, Elizabeth Honey and the children of Gununa.
For more information visit https://www.harmony.gov.au/
Books featured include:
Whoever You Are. by Mem Fox.
Hello World! A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities by Jonathan Litton.