Oh, what a Book Week!

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 CBCA short list books offer schools an abundance of opportunities to engage with reading, responding to, and celebrating literature. When responding to the theme for Book Week Reading is my Secret Power, children in grades K-2 suggested that reading helps you learn, builds knowledge, and gives you the power to relax and be in the book.

Engaging with the short list books builds students’ literacy skills through incorporating rich, objectively selected, and aesthetically valuable texts. Leading up to Children’s Book Week the six Early Childhood Books were shared with classes in Years K-2. In Year K, we discussed the main character of each book and will be creating a book character bunting based on the books. Year 1 focused on the thinking routine – Step Inside the Character and will respond to the books with drawing and writing. Year 2 discussed and wrote about story elements such as setting, messages, symbols and connections. They will be creating a diorama in small groups to represent the books. Students in Years 3-4 were introduced to the short list Picture Books which were selected for their artistic and literary unity of text and illustrations.

A highlight of Children’s Book Week was an exhilarating K-3 Book Week Assembly. The atmosphere was set with an outstanding opening performance of Pure Imagination by the Primary School Choir. We sat back and relaxed as we enjoyed viewing I am Jellyfish by Ruth Paul on Story Box Library, a captivating story set in the deep blue sea. Children in Years K-3 sang Oompa Loompa and bopped to the tune. The book character parade allowed each student to parade across the stage and display their stunning designs. It was truly magnificent to see such a wide variety of book characters appear from favourite books and show their true style.

This year we had three author’s visit us to share their stories and insight. Years K-2 met Lesley Gibbes who read her award-winning book Scary Night to Year K. Years 1 and 2 learnt behind the scenes information of the characters in the book series Fizz – a fluffy white dog who wants to join the police force. Lesley’s recently published book Searching for Cicadas was written from memories of searching for the Black Prince cicada in her garden. Lesley’s advice for writing great stories was to always think about ‘What if?’

Years 3-4 met Deborah Abela who informed us that for her ‘every week is book week.’ Deborah shared stories of her childhood and hinted how her own experiences and personality are imbedded in her stories. The Spelling Bee book series was inspired from her experience with spelling when she was in Year 4 where her teacher introduced a Spelling Olympics each Friday where the girls versed the boys. Deborah’s concern and passion for the environment inspired the book series Grimsdom, New City and the newly released book Final Storm – Deborah had us sitting on the edge of our seat as she read extracts from this action pack series. Deborah also provided advice on writing an exciting story – she highlighted that it is vital to always consider ‘I wonder what would happen if?’

Lian Tanner presented to Years 5-6 and shared stories from her life experiences and how she was able to take aspects of these and weave them into her books. Lian indicated that she enjoys writing exciting action scenes with characters getting into trouble. A wealth of ideas of writing inspiration are provided on her website. Lian’s advice for writing was to take notice of what is happening around you, use your senses to imagine what it might feel like, choose interesting words, and to allow time to daydream and stretch your imagination.

Thanks to The Children’s Bookshop Speakers’ Agency for the superb author visit recommendations. It is always encouraging to see the author’s books leave the library instantaneously as hot property after we have had the pleasure of meeting the author and having them read to us.

QR Code Book Hunt – Early Childhood Short List books

In this Post you will find the QR Code Book Hunt for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Early Childhood Short List books.

Instructions:

  • Print out the QR codes and place them around the library
  • Print out the answer recording sheets for students
  • Students scan the QR code, a question will appear – answer the question on the recording sheet next to the question number
  • 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!

Book Week 2019 – Reading is my Secret Power

The theme for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Children’s Book Week 2019 is Reading is my Secret Power. Term 3 is always a busy term with a huge focus on the CBCA Short List books, visiting authors and special art/craft activities at lunchtime. This year we will be celebrating Book Week with a K-3 Book Week Assembly and Book Character Dress-Up Parade which will feature the school choir singing Imagination from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and years K-3 singing the Oompa Loompa song. We will also view a book on Story Box Library.

Reading is My Super Power – Book Week Display 2019

Upcoming author visits:

Years K-2 Lesley Gibbes
Years 3-4 Deborah Abela
Years 5-6 Lian Tanner

This year I will be following lesson sequences for K-2 as Posted in 2018, details can be found via a previous Post – Book Week Lesson Ideas 2018


Books featured in the Reading is My Secret Power display include:

A child of Books by Oliver Jeffers (2016)

Cocoon by Aura Parker (2019)

Bee & Me: A Story about Friendship by Alison Jay (2017)

Eliot, Midnight Superhero by Anne Cottringer (2013)

Visual Grammar Guide

Visual grammar provides a way to describe and communicate the features of an image. Close looking and thinking about the image helps build meaning.

This Post provides an updated Visual Grammar Guide that can be used as a teaching and learning tool for responding to images in picture books. The Visual Grammar Guide was presented to the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) via a Webinar on June 5, 2019.

Previous overviews of visual grammar / visual literacy are available via the Softlink Blog Exploring visual literacy with picture books and past Posts on the Library Owl Blog Visual Literacy – some examplesVisual Literacy using the CBCA Short list Picture Books, and Relationship between literary elements and verbal/visual details in picture books.

Colour, Symbol, Image summaries

Although Book Week was some time ago now this Post showcases a selection of Year 3 responses to the six CBCA Short List Picture Books 2018. The students were introduced to the Visible Thinking Routine – Colour, Symbol, Image at the start of the series of lessons. After each picture book was read a brief sharing of ideas was completed to gain feedback on the response depth and to prompt additional ideas by building on what students shared. One additional task introduced was to list ideas that were interesting or important from the story – this assisted in building responses.
Although some responses were a little brief it allowed students to respond to each book. Lessons were around 30-40 minutes so overall I feel it was an achievement to read and respond to each of the six short list books. As the activity was repeated for each book students quickly became familiar with the routine. It was also helpful for students to reflect on their Colour, Symbol, Image summary as they voted for their favourite short list book. For additional information visit this previous Post Exploring The CSI Thinking Routine Through Picture Books.

Year 1 Step Inside the Character 2018

In a previous post Imagine If You Could Step Inside The Character In A Picture Book! I outlined and provided ideas for a series of lessons related to the visible thinking routine Step Inside the Character. Leading up to Children’s Book Week, Year 1 was introduced to the Children’s Book Council of Australia six short list books. After each book was read the students worked with a partner and answered one question related to the Step Inside thinking routine:

  • Who is the main character? Are they human, an animal or an imagined character?
  • What can the character see?
  • What might the character think?
  • What might the character care about?

The responses were collated to form a group summary. Students chose one of the books to respond to by drawing and writing. The use of writing prompt assisted students to respond to the Step Inside questions.

 

 

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!