Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Monday 9 May 2016

Have You Got Your Hat Ready? - National Simultaneous Storytime 2016

Are you getting ready to enjoy NSS at your local public or school library? Find out what's happening in your area, make a hat, take a child or two along if you like, and enjoy the fun. Jessica has lots of ideas to get you inspired.

I have, and I am counting down the days until May 25th because it’s National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) and that means lots of reading fun! 

The NSS is run by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and this year their chosen title is I Got This Hat by Kate and Jol Temple, illustrated by Jon Foye, and it is just delightful.

Yes, it is a picture book aimed a younger audience, but that certainly doesn’t mean they are the only ones who can enjoy this book. I will be sharing this story will all of my students aged from 4 to 12 and based on my past NSS experiences including The Brothers Quibble, Too Many Elephants in This House, The Wrong Book and The Very Cranky Bear, it will be a big hit regardless of age.

If you are not convinced that this book hits the mark for an older audience, why not approach it as a “Buddy” activity, with older children sharing the book with younger children, or completing an activity as a follow up together. Readers’ Theatre type activities are a great way to encourage read aloud skills in our older children. Setting up an environment where they feel permitted to have fun is important too, and a hat theme is perfect to help achieve this due to the broad nature of this topic. (Note - please be mindful of head lice issues if you are planning to use actual hats as props).

There are loads of great ideas to support this year’s NSS at the ALIA website and I highly recommend the blog post devoted to I Got This Hat by The Book Chook, Susan Stephenson, for an amazing range of activity suggestions – well worth a look.

Another of my favourite resources, online story-telling platform Story Box Library, will also be adding I Got This Hat to their fabulous library in time for NSS.

For those with an ipod or ipad, my children, aged 8 and 10, have enjoyed using the free I Got This Hat App to create a range of hat themed images which mix the quirky illustration style of Jon Foye with a photo of the user’s face. Images can be saved to the device. (Unfortunately not available for android devices).

We all know that reading aloud is vitally important and having fun with books is a great way to hook children into reading. ALIA have succeeded with the difficult task of selecting an NSS title that is age appropriate for the youngest library patrons across Australia, but is still relatable for an older audience – so I say, hats off to them!

Jessica Marston
Parent & Teacher Librarian at Hagley Farm School

Footnote – I have just started reading the latest collaboration between the I Got This hat team, an adventurous tale full of humour, Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade.  Keep an eye out for this and future Jimmy Cook titles.

Editor's note:
If you celebrate NSS this year, why not share one happy hat snap - (no faces without approval) and email to info@cbcatas.org and I will put together a celebratory page on the blog. 

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