Tuesday, November 19, 2013

20th November Christmas Folktales

I have been having so much fun reading with my Kindergarten classes this term. We have been studying folktales and for the last four weeks we have looked closely at folktales that are set at Christmas. They are perfect for teaching students to make text-to-text connections. We started by looking at the Ukrainian tales which tell why spiders are hung on Christmas trees in the Ukraine and then compared it to the German Cobweb Christmas where we found out about the origins of tinsel. Next we looked at gift-bearers in Italy and Russia by comparing Old Befana and Baboushka and then to finish off we went to Mexico to learn why poinsettias abound as Christmas decorations.

These books are in my school library so they were the ones I used, but I am sure there are others.

 The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola
The Tale of Baboushka: A Traditional Christmas Story by Elena Pasquali
Baboushka by Arthur Scholey (we have two versions, same words different illustrations)
Babushka by Sandra Ann Horn
Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo
A Christmas Spider's Miracle by Trinka Hakes Noble
The Spider's Gift: A Ukranian Christmas Story by Eric A. Kimmel
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
The Miracle of the First Poinsettia: A Mexican Christmas Story by Joanne Oppenheim

Saturday, November 9, 2013

10th November National Adoption Week

It is National Adoption Week in Australia from 10th -17th November.  This week is designed to raise community awareness of adoption and the issues surrounding it in Australia.  It  aims to increase insight and empathy, remove the stigma, and work towards a more positive adoption environment because every child has the  right to a family. 

The figures on the website show that the number of adoptions in Australia is decreasing but there are still a large number of children in need of positive and permanent homes. The subject of adoption is not one I have thought about at length, but lately I have had reason to search in my library for books for families and teachers on just this topic. Presently there are at least six children at school who have been adopted from overseas and they do like to see themselves in stories. This was brought home to me while I was reading a group of Year 2s, Randall Jarrell's The Animal Family  and one of the students wrote a very moving piece in her journal making text to self connections between herself and the bear cub who the hunter and mermaid 'adopt'.

I was surprised how many books were in the library that could be used to discuss adoption, so I have put them together on a pinterest page.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

8th November World Radiography Day

World Radiography Day 

is celebrated on 8 November each year. The date marks the anniversary of the discovery of x-radiation by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895.

I was pleased to see that there is a day to celebrate radiography because I have discovered this year that an early childhood library can never have too many books about x-rays. After sharks, snakes and dinosaurs, x-rays and bones would be the next most popular topic with 4 to 6 year old boys in my library. They especially like the books with the acetate pages that show what is under the skin or what is on the x-rays. If you are looking for books this is what is most popular in my library:

Jessica's X-ray  by Pat Zora
You Can't See Your Bones With Binoculars by Harriet Ziefert
X-treme X-ray by Nick Veasey
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins