A guide to literature genres

A Literature Companion for Teachers by Lorraine McDonald has certainly been a companion to me! As an example Chapter 2 – Types of Literary Texts overviews a variety of genres and provides inspiration for practical approaches to provide meaningful learning experiences with reference to specific texts.

Recently I created a Genres Guide that students could refer to. This guide was used with Year 4 students to introduce the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Younger Readers chapter books. Reading an extract from the books and referring to the guide the students were able to identify the main genre. Providing students with extracts from a variety of book genres and getting them to examine and respond to the main genre with evidence from the text is another way to enable students to build knowledge of literary genres.

Reference: McDonald, L. (2018). A Literature Companion for Teachers.
Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)

CBCA Picture Book Shortlist – Colour, Symbol, Image

The thinking routine Colour, Symbol, Image (CSI) provides a way to explore the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book shortlist. This week I will be introducing the first picture book to Year 3, they will be provided with a Colour, Symbol, Image summary sheet where they will complete a brief CSI response for each book.

This year I have created a guide for colours and symbols as some students struggle relating colour and understanding a symbol as one object linked to the story. Past examples of the CSI summaries can be found here.

 

Responding to Little Bird’s Day

Little Bird’s Day by Sally Morgan and illustrated by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr provided a superb way to explore change over one day.

This delightful book was read to Kindergarten, we focused on the sentences related to the changing day. For example, Here comes Cloud, huffing and puffing. First, the children drew a bird onto card, each illustration was cut out. Children were then provided with a sentence from the book – their task was to illustrate a background related to the time of day. The little birds were added to the background. Below is a selection of beautiful responses and connections to the story.

 

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.

 

 

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 →

Stage 1 Geography – People and Places

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.

 

Read, respond, celebrate: engaging with the CBCA short list

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. There are several Posts related to Book Week on this Blog as it is a very special part of the Library program. Recently SCIS Connections published an article I wrote focusing on using the Early Childhood and Picture Book short list books, as well as providing an insight into exploring the Younger Readers chapter books in the F–6 school context. The full article can be found via Read, respond, celebrate: engaging with the CBCA short list

Book Week suitcase

SCIS Connections 102 Read, respond, celebrate article PDF.

 

Book Week – Escape to Everywhere QR Code Treasure Hunt

Inspired by a QR Code Treasure Hunt at EduTECH, with the prize a new car (no I did not win even though I spent time hunting for codes) I have created a Book Week – Escape to Everywhere QR Code Treasure Hunt linked to the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Shortlist Younger Readers and Picture Book books.

Sample

This Treasure Hunt is aimed at Years 3-6 and due to students needing to know a little bit about each book, it would take a few lessons. Students will need a QR Code reader to scan the codes.

To set this task up I suggest the following:

  • Introduce/read the CBCA Shortlist Younger Readers and Picture Books
  • Print, cut out and stick the QR codes around the library or school (do not cut off the header or question numbers)
  • Print out the answer sheets for each student
  • Introduce the task, demonstrate how to scan and fill in the answer sheet
  • Plan when students can do the Treasure Hunt and for how long it will run
  • Have a special box for the answer sheets (one for Younger Readers and one for Picture Books)
  • Draw an answer sheet from the box, the first one with the correct answers wins a prize

I would like to thank The PE Geek who’s guide How to make a QR Treasure Hunt provided a step by step guide and link to Classtools.net QR Treasure Hunt Generator which enabled me to create this QR Treasure Hunt.

Learning Across the Curriculum – English

Learning Across the CurriculumThe AISNSW ‘Learning Across the Curriculum – English’ PL day allowed for time to read and pull apart the cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities. The summary pages within the English Syllabus were helpful and provided guidance to embedding each priority in teaching and learning planning – what currently is being covered with our own programs was considered and new opportunities were promoted. What was evident is that the Syllabus is vast, there are amazing learning opportunities and time is required to fully absorb the new curriculum.

A summary of the PL day was created to share with teaching staff at school. Learning Across the Curriculum – English

For more information go to the summary:

LATC English