26/09/2018

CBCA NSW Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch Children’s Event!

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) NSW Branch Inc Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch is a newly-formed branch. We are delighted to promote our first children’s event, Thursday 25 October at the Randwick Community Centre. We have three terrific authors lined-up to share their books with activities to follow. Meet the authors Antonia Pesenti, Lesley Gibbes and Yves Stening. There will be a book sale and raffle prizes. This is a free event – bookings can be made via www.trybooking.com/YCPX

Thank you to Cate James for the terrific invite!

26/09/2018

K-2 Vote!

Over the past weeks, the six CBCA Short List Early Childhood books were read to each class from Kindergarten to Year 2. The children were shown the voting chart at the start of the series of lessons and looked forward to voting for their favourite book. The voting chart was very exciting and lead to many hot discussions. It also helped to explain the Book of the Year and Honour books and how special it is for a book to have such an award. The children are thrilled when they find other award books in the collection recognised by the shiny award sticker.

05/08/2018

Book Week 2018 – Find Your Treasure!

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.

Find Your Treasure – display featuring story maps.

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.

Find Your Treasure – display featuring stories, imagination & reading.

24/06/2018

It sure was some launch!

CBCA NSW Branch Inc Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch logo designed by Cate James

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

17/06/2018

Book Week Lessons & Ideas 2018

Book Week suitcase!

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.

Visual literacy 

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

Library displays

Create a display in the library that promotes the Book Week theme.

Student vote

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.

Promotional video

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.

14/11/2017

Visual literacy – some examples

Recently, I wrote about plans to explore visual literacy with Year 5 using the CBCA Short List Picture Books. With the lessons now complete, this post provides an update on progress and shares some student work examples. The CBCA short list picture books provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with a range of quality literature. The books contained insightful social and emotional context and differing styles of illustrations, they proved to be exemplary for exploring visual literacy.

Out text by Angela May George, illustrated by Owen Swan

As outlined previously, visual literacy or visual grammar provides terminology to help understand and describe features of an image that create visual meaning. We learn who or what is in the picture, the activities involved, interactions between characters, emotions, and how the image catches our attention. Examining images in picture books also helps to add meaning and build depth to the story.

As stated in the NSW Education Standards Authority English K-10 Glossary visual language:

“…contributes to the meaning of an image or the visual components of a multimodal text and are selected from a range of visual features like placement, salience, framing, representation of action or reaction, shot size, social distance and camera angle. Visual language can also include elements such as symbol, colour, scene and frame composition, setting and landscape, lighting and the use of editing.”

Out text by Angela May George, illustrated by Owen Swan

Once we had completed reading and exploring each book, students worked with a partner and selected one of the books and one image to focus on and annotate. Students referred to the visual literacy guide which provided examples of terminology and direction on how to organise their summaries.

Overall we were highly impressed with the level of student engagement and commitment to learning. Some students selected to take a photo of the image and add annotations using Word inserting callouts, while others were provided with a colour photocopy of the image to annotate by hand. Once complete the students uploaded their work onto the school LMS allowing for sharing and feedback.

One Photo text by Ross Watkins, illustrated by Liz Anelli

Pantaleo (2016), in an observation of teaching and learning visual literacy lessons with primary aged students, suggests focusing on one visual literacy element at a time and having students write a personal response of their learning after reading a picture book. Callow (2016), highlights the many opportunities of the Australian Curriculum to read and engage with books to explore visual literacy. He encourages us to create opportunities for students to investigate picture books to locate visual literacy elements and to allow students to create their own images using visual literacy learning.

Using the CBCA short list picture books allowed for an outstanding series of learning experiences. Following a few simple steps to introduce visual literacy and providing for students to explore and respond with examples can be adapted to a wide range of purposefully selected picture books.

The visual literacy guide was made available to students via the school library homepage. Full access to the guide is available here: Tips for Viewing Images in Picture Books

Home in the Rain by Bob Graham

References

Callow, J. (2016). Viewing and doing visual literacy using picture books. Practical Literacy, 21(1), p.9-12. Retrieved from https://www.alea.edu.au/resources/practical-literacy-the-early-and-primary-years-pl-2

Forrest, S. (2017).  How does it make me feel? Using visual grammar to interact with picture books. Literacy Learning in the Middle Years, 25(1), p.41-52. Retrieved from https://www.alea.edu.au/resources/literacy-learning-the-middle-years-ll

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2017). Glossary. Retrieved from http://syllabus.nesa.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/stage-statements/

Pantaleo, S. (2016). Primary students’ understanding and appreciation of the artwork in picturebooks. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 16(2), p.228-225. DOI: 10.1177/1468798415569816

12/07/2017

Visual Literacy using the CBCA Short list Picture Books

The CBCA Short List Picture Books provide many opportunities to explore and engage with quality literature. This term Year 5 will explore the short list books in relation to visual literacy or visual grammar.

Visual literacy helps us understand and describe the features of a picture that create visual meaning. We learn who or what is in the picture, the activities involved, interactions between characters, emotions, and how the image catches our attention. We can learn to discover by looking deeper and thinking about what we see.

As advised by Callow, 2016 “Talking about the various features of picture books before, during and after reading allows us to teach children about their various features.” Using the CBCA Short List Picture Books offers a perfect way to introduce or extend on visual literacy. Exploring the themes and issues and applying visual grammar elements allows students to deepen their engagement with the books. Furthermore, providing instruction and direction to recognise, discuss and label visual techniques will ensure students enhance their visual literacy skills (Forrest, 2017).

What is planned?

  • Introduce one of the CBCA Short List books and highlight visual grammar elements
  • Provide students with the Visual Literacy Guide
  • Group students into small groups and allocate one of the picture books. Working with a partner create a sub-group where each sub-group selects one page (image) to focus on
  • Take a photo of the image and using Word or a simple photo writing App such as Phonto annotate onto the image
  • Post work to class Blog and share findings

Below is an example applying visual grammar following the guidelines that I created for student use. Goanna by Jenny Wagner is one of the first picture books I purchased in my early teaching days, I found it on my bookshelf and so loved reading it again.

Continue reading

03/07/2017

Postcard from your reading journey

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week 2017 theme Escape to Everywhere opens many opportunities to connect with literature and have fun. In addition to the Missing Book Character Poster activity planned for students in P-2 we are planning a writing reflection activity for Grades 3-4. The task encourages students to engage with a book they have enjoyed reading and write a Postcard imagining they are in the story. This activity aims to get the student inside the book, experience an event with the character and reflect on where else they could go within the story.

Steps to promote this activity:

Choose a book you have really enjoyed reading – it could be a picture book or chapter book.

Make a list of ideas, the questions below will help get you started – remember a postcard aims to capture where you are, what you are doing.

  • Who is the character(s) you are with?
  • Where are you? What you can see.
  • What activities are you doing?
  • Where might you be going?
  • Address you postcard to your class and remember to write your name and class
  • Draw a stamp for your postcard
  • Draw a picture that is connected to the book
  • Write the book title and author on your drawing so we all know what great book we can read next

I am planning on introducing this as a competition for students in Grades 3-4 to be done at lunch in the library, one entry per student to be entered. If you decide to run this at your school I would love to hear how it goes.

The guide and a postcard template is available for download.