Sunday, August 17, 2014

18th August Book Week Connecting to Reading Part 1

It is Children's Book Week in Australia and the theme 'Connect to Reading' has meant some very insightful reading has been happening in my library. My 5  to 8 year olds have been reading from the Early Childhood and the Picture Book shortlists. We have been connecting these titles to other older books that they may not have known too.

We haven't done any art or craft activities yet. I am saving the Reading to Connect activities for fun in the library this week when we will draw with rainbow pencils and paint with mud, as Ann James does in I'm a Dirty Dinosaur, try to draw a duck in a minute inspired by Silver Buttons and make plastic bag parachutes to float our teddies off the second floor down onto the playground.

So far though we have made text-to-text connections between the two lullabies on the Early Childhood shortlist Baby Bedtime and Kissed by the Moon. We played lullaby music and lay down on the mat as I read.

We read The Swap and connected it to Pat Hutchins 1985 classic The Very Worst Monster which is also about sibling rivalry and the need to get rid of a sibling.

We read Banjo and Ruby Red  and connected it with many books Year1 and I had read last term when we looking at chickens and foxes in picture books and talking about stereotypes. The children thought it reminded them of Albert and Lila,  a chicken and pig story where they help each other to outwit a fox and The Chicken Thief  because 'the hen and fox become good friends'. This connection also led to us reconnecting with Bear and Chook the good friends in Lisa Shanahan's award-winning books.

And although we live near the beach, the concept of grommet was very new to my students, so to read Granny Grommet and Me  we first looked at some surfing books and the news report about granny grommets. One of my students connected this story with Olivia Learns to Surf because in it Olivia is taught to surf by her grandmother. We quickly visited it, but the children were much more interested in talking about sea dragons so that is where we went, off exploring them. The book Seahorses and Seadragons led us to connections of all kinds especially once the students discovered from the maps that they could be found in the sea off Sydney. Next we read another Australian picture book Seadragon Sea  by Margaret Spurling.

The shortlisted Early Childhood books were well received by Kindergarten and Year 1 students, but The Swap  and Banjo and Ruby Red  were the most popular by far when we pretended to be judges and voted, so for once the judges agreed with the children which often isn't the case. It is a fitting tribute to Jan Ormerod to have her last book achieve such an award!

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