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.
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.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published in 1901, Beatrix Potter self-published and printed 250 copies. Over the years Peter Rabbit has been read, shared and loved by so many children, parents and grandparents alike. In 2016 a first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit sold at auction for £43,000!
The Peter Rabbit library display features my son’s Peter Rabbit soft toy (now 18 years old), a Bunnykins sculpture that was given to me by a wonderful teacher I previously worked with, author profile books, and newly released Beatrix Potter books. It is always a pleasure to see children enter the library, stand close taking time to admire the displays.
For more information on Beatrix Potter and The Tale of Peter Rabbit visit https://www.peterrabbit.com/
Armitstead, C. (2013). How Beatrix Potter self-published Peter Rabbit. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/dec/17/beatrix-potter-peter-rabbit-self-publishing
BBC News. (2016). First edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit sells for £43k at auction. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cumbria-36865074
Frederick Warne & Co. (2016). Beatrix Potter. Retrieved from https://www.peterrabbit.com/
Sony Pictures Entertainment. (2018, March 17). Peter Rabbit – official trailer. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/cfAaGhvRmmg
As the final days of the school year wrap up it is great to look back and reflect. It has been a busy but productive year, and we have worked tirelessly in the past weeks revamping the library collection, reorganising shelving and running a stocktake of the fiction books – it will be a fresh start next year!
I would like to acknowledge and thank the support and commitment of the library team and teacher librarian who taught the Year 6 classes.
The review is a snapshot of teaching and learning, special events, loans, resource use and top books loaned. What worked well, what requires change and improvement is in mind, but rest first is required.
Click the link to open the full review K-6 library review 2017
PS I used www.canva.com to create the Infographic.
This term Year 2 were investigating The Past in the Present (NSW Syllabus). During the library lessons we undertook an inquiry into How can we use nonfiction to be better researchers? The series of lessons which investigated informative books will be summarised in a separate post as I would like to share the final lessons which were most amazing – we took a good look at the Australian $20 note.
The investigation links in with History: The Past in the Present HT1-2 where students identify and describe significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time. Continue reading
It was wonderful to create the new library displays to commemorate National Reconciliation Week. This year we have two displays – one focusing on animals and the beautiful colourful artworks in a selection of children’s picture books, a wooden lizard from Uluru and a turtle painted on stone. The other display represents family highlighting children and traditional artworks on bark from my personal collection.
To commemorate Reconciliation Week all classes will be involved in activities and there are special visitors to share stories and knowledge with the children. In addition to the outstanding collection of picture books featuring Australian Indigenous peoples and culture some of the resources that class teachers have been particularly interested in for teaching and learning include:
Say Yes: A story of friendship, fairness and a vote for hope by Jennifer Castles, and illustrations by Paul Seden. This picture book sensitively captures the 1967 Referendum in way that enables historical issues and perspectives to be shared with children. The Allen & Unwin site provide teaching notes and Reading Time has a superb review, the suggested reading age is 7-12.
Stories for Simon by Lisa Sarzin and Lauren Briggs, a moving and beautifully illustrated picture book that helps explain the Stolen Generations to younger students. The Stories for Simon website provides background material about the story and links to Teachers’ Resource notes. The illustrator Lauren Briggs has visited our school on sharing the story with primary students and art workshops with high school students.
Welcome to Country written by Joy Murphy and illustrated by Lisa Kennedy is an outstanding picture book portraying personal traditions of Aboriginal people allowing for teaching and learning of understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture. Walker Books have provided extensive Teacher Notes for this book and a reference to a wide range of resources including picture books with Aboriginal themes, nonfiction books for younger and older readers, websites and video links.
The Message Stick book series published by Nelson Cengage are a wonderful series of books offering Dreaming stories with short plays such as How the Murray River was made and informative books on fishing, hunting and gathering, and bush tucker. The illustrations and photos are highly appealing and informative and text at a level suitable for lower grades. The series also includes a Teacher Resource book.
A special book I enjoy reading to Kindergarten classes is No Way Yirrikipayi! by the children from Milikapiti School, Merville Island and Alison Lester. This is a story of a hungry crocodile that wonders through the natural environment seeking food. Written in English and Tiwi it offers a rich resource to read aloud and encourages children to join in with the repeated phrase “No way Yirrikipayi your not eating me today.”
Books featured in the displays:
Kangaroo and crocodile : my big book of Australian animals by Bronwyn Bancroft
Where is Galah by Sally Morgan
ABC Dreaming by Warren Brim
Children of the Lake by Percy Trezise
Going for Oysters by Jeanie Adams
Welcome to Country by Joy Murphy (two images)
Torres Strait Islander girl and Aboriginal boy from Scholastic School Essentials
Lizard, stone and bark artworks from my personal collection.
“Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.”
(Australian War Memorial, 2017)
Information about the Commemoration and Educational resources and activities are provided by the Australian War Memorial. The Primary English Teaching Association Australia also provides Lest We Forget which comprises six literature-based units of work for PETAA members.
A collection picture books, some with teaching notes are available via my Pinterest collection of ANZAC Day commemoration picture books.
School libraries have a vital role in the provision and promotion of quality and diverse reading materials that inform, value and ignite reading. Promoting “a reading culture through the active promotion of literature” (Australian School Library Association, 2004) is one of the ASLA teacher librarian standards. Promotion and access to varied reading materials “helps students to engage imaginatively and critically with literature to expand the scope of their experience” (Australian Curriculum English 8.3). Encouraging wide reading and access to a variety of reading materials increases students interests and motivation to read (Miller, 2012). “Numerous research studies prove that wide reading improves children’s comprehension, background knowledge, vocabulary, fluency, and writing” (Krashen, 2004 as cited in Miller, 2012). Furthermore, literacy development and achievement is benefited by recreational reading and reading for enjoyment (Merga, 2016).
The following resources have made a difference to the diversity of reading resources available to children at my school library adding to the existing range of imaginative and informative books. The resources that follow also link to the Australian Curriculum in that they provide access to imaginative, informative and persuasive texts in different formats and for different age levels.
Crinkling News: Australian Newspaper for Young Australian’s
The Crinkling News newspaper has been very popular at my school library, it is a subscription based tabloid format newspaper published weekly for children aged between 7-14. The Crinkling News website offers some additional features – videos, opinion polls, and comments. Readings.com.au spoke with the editor Saffron Howdon about the importance of media literacy for children.
Story Box Library: Australian Stories read by storytellers
Story Box Library is an online subscription based resource that contains a collection of Australian literature read engagingly by storytellers. Story Box Library promotes the resource as a “reading room” where books are communicated through film providing “…a vibrant, interactive experience via a diverse range of everyday Australian storytellers”(storyboxlibrary.com.au). The resource also provides theme details and valuable classroom notes for the stories.
DK findout! Visual and engaging information, images and videos
DK findout! is a free website that is visually stimulating and contains appealing content for classroom teaching and learning. Information is concise, the page layout is well organised and the reader is able to click to reveal summaries or listen to a sound recording. This resource is very attractive and provides wonderful opportunities for learning and general interest exploring. I suggest taking a look at the Volcanoes page as it provides an excellent example of the high standard of information and design. Continue reading