The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) launched a Shadow Judging Program in 2022. Year 2 reviewed and judged each of the CBCA Early Childhood Shortlist books. Using A3 paper, a review chart for each of the books was completed by all students. Due to the tight deadline we had to read and review two books each lesson. Unfortunately due to clashes with special events we were not able to meet the deadline to submit a collective vote to the Shadow Judging Program. Forward planning I would start the exercise at the end of Term 2 to ensure that we can meet the deadline.
The creative activity was to design a diorama for each of the Shortlist books. Students were split into teams and shortlist books were randomly allocated. The fist step was planning, it was helpful focusing on a page within the book to help streamline ideas. Students were assigned different tasks including:
designing the top piece which included the book title, author and illustrator, an image from the book, group names and class
creating a background or back drop for the diorama
designing a floor to place the inside items
designing and creating items to stand or hang from the ceiling, items included characters, objects, and symbols from the story
Students were provided with a range of craft materials and created delightful representations of the stories. The diorama boxes were sourced from Clever Patch.
The CBCA Shortlist book Walk of the Whales by Nick Bland stirred curiosity and concern. Each page revealed a new problem for the whales who had walked out of the water, and unusual complications for the people.
There was a great sense of relief at the end of the story, an understanding of why the whales did what they did and strong connection to the important message in the story.
Kindergarten responded to Walk of the Whales by creating a whale using a paper plate and template to construct the whale, and designing a collage background for the ocean. The whale templates were sourced from Super Fun Pintables which provided a template for a Blue Whale, Humpback Whale, Killer Whale and Narwhal.
Year 1 responded to the CBCA Shortlist book Jetty Jumping written by Andrea Rowe and illustrated by Hannah Sommerville. The artworks were inspired from attending the Zart Art Book Week professional learning online workshop. The girls imagined they had just jumped off the jetty feeling proud of their achievement.
During Book Week the K-2 library ran competitions linked to picture books.
Can you guess the book?
Five objects were placed in a box, children were able to open the box, handle the objects and submit an entry form. Wonderful discussion, nifty catalogue searching and book checking was witnessed. You could feel the excitement when a student made the connection.
The objects included:
Do you know who the book character is?
Children were able to look through the peepholes and enter the guessing competition. Once the competition ended the characters were revealed.
Amira’s Suitcase written by Vikki Conley and illustrated by Nicky Johnston provided an interesting discussion for Kindergarten. After reading the story we discussed ideas of why Amira needed to hide, where she moved to, and what changed for Amira during the story. The idea of time passing as the plants grew and the friendships she made also offered ideas to explore.
The book was a Children’s Book Council of Australia Shortlist and won the Honours award. Kindergarten illustrated plants and flowers they would like to grow if they were in the story with Amira.
Winston and the Indoor Cat by Leila Rudge is one of the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Shortlist books – Early Childhood category.
This was the first book out of the six read to Kindergarten. They really enjoyed the story which opened a discussion about having a friend and how we may enjoy different things. The girls enjoyed illustrating their own cat template and imagining if they would be an indoor or outdoor cat.
The cat template is from Walker Books Read to Us Storytime Kit Term 3 & 4, 2021. The kits offer a wealth of ideas and inspiration linked to a superb selection of picture books.
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.
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.
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.