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

Saturday 26 August 2017

School Book Week Escapes

Book Week is always a time of great celebrations, good fun and collegiality in schools as they delve into selected short list titles, get carried a way to new places via displays and activities and immerse themselves in stories. It is a delight to share some of the highlights in schools in Tasmania. Many thanks to institutional and individual members who have shared the Book Week experiences with us.

Hagley Farm School | The Friends School - Primary | Mackillop Catholic College | Glenora District School | The Friends' School - Secondary | St Brigid's Catholic School

Hagley Farm School
Jessica Marston, Teacher Librarian

Book Week at Hagley Farm School (K-6) is spent celebrating the shortlisted books and our love of children's literature. We have:
Creative challenge linked to the shortlist, this year our theme was birds. Children are invited to create a bird for display in the library 
Library lessons with our "buddies"; we display and discuss past winners and shortlisted titles;  
Vote for our favourite shortlisted books which are read during library lessons in the weeks leading up to Book Week. This year our favourites were Chip (K-2) and One Photo (3-6).

Book Parade for the whole school, where we parade with our "buddy classes"

The Friends School - Primary Campus
Sharon Molnar & Catherine Duffett, Teacher Librarians, Margaret Jennings, Library Technician

The Display: We photocopied the book covers and created the letters with the paper, and photocopied templates of things that fly onto paper that had book pages on the other side. The whales were made by Margaret Jennings. The blue sky is made from plastic table-cloths from Shiploads!
The Books: The short-listed books were available to borrow. We also had photocopies of the front covers, with blurbs on the back, so staff and students could still “see” the short-listed titles and reserve them if they were out.

The Action: 
A few years ago, we decided to try a different format for our Book Week assembly. Instead of having a “dress up as your favourite book character parade” (with the inevitable non-book characters, characters from books the students had never read and non-participation by upper students) we asked each year group to choose a short-listed book, author or illustrator; or a non-short-listed Australian book, author or illustrator and present an assembly item of 5 minutes or less. It has been a huge success and, while a few have said they prefer the old parade, the overwhelming majority of parent and staff feedback has been that this is a much richer and more meaningful celebration of Australian literature.

The students dress up in accordance with their year group’s item, and create the (usually simple) costumes in class. The item often fits in with the unit of inquiry they are currently studying (e.g. this year’s Year 4s did “Tom Appleby: Convict boy” because they’re looking at the first fleet). With this year’s theme, each item began with one student saying “Escape to...” and another holding up a sign relevant to their performance. They then put the sign on a book easel at the front of the stage, and began their performance. All the performances linked to the theme and showcased the work of our wonderful Australian authors and illustrators!

Mackillop Catholic College

Tricia Scott, Teacher Librarian & Trudi Fielding, Library Technician

The Display: Walking up the stairwell into a great escape with vibrant displays.
The Books: Inspirational student art featured in the displays. Spellbound and Mechanica being two titles that particularly intrigued.

St Bridgid's Catholic School
Display featured different spaces to escape to.
Mechanic activity was extremely popular as a makerspace challenge.

Glenora District School
Laura Shoobridge, Assistant Principal and staff
Activities: Art and craft activities investigating shortlist titles and other books were popular.

Book Week Character Parade: Students and staff dressed for the occasion with great hilarity.

The Friends School - Secondary Campus
Katie Stanley, Teacher Librarian & Nicole Parums, Library Technician

Book Week Display: Escape to Everywhere theme building on the Book Week poster and whale, the shortlisted titles were immersed within sea and foam - and whales!
Activity: Students created bookworms in the library during the lunch times.


  1. How lovely to see so many ways to celebrate Book Week. So creative and engaging. Good effort.

  2. The diversity of ideas at the various schools provides an impetus to stimulate even more engaging and creative responses that can turn an annual school event into an exciting and unique experience for the whole school community.