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

Saturday 25 August 2018

Book Week Close to Home

Tasmanian schools have revelled during the past week in various takes and interpretations of finding their treasure. It is wonderful to see the creativity, dedication and amazing work of school libraries around the state creating the magic that surrounds reading for pleasure and engaging with a treasure trove of literature. We conclude this week's post from a little further afield with a Victorian contribution that didn't quite make last week's entries.

MacKilliop Catholic College
Tricia Scott, Teacher Librarian and past CBCA Awards Judge

Book Week at MacKillop Catholic College was an opportunity to encourage students into the library and to renew their acquaintance with the collection, new resources and, in particular, the CBCA shortlisted titles. Displays were created to entice students with footprints leading up the stairwell in order for them to Find Your Treasure.
Up! To Book Week! 

A presentation was delivered to all Year 7 students as part of the Literacy Program focussing on the CBCA judging process as well as the sharing of some of the shortlisted titles.  The Early Childhood picture books were very popular and students’ attention was ensured by the Readers’ Cup element of the session using the questions developed by the Awards Sub-committee. Many thanks to the Tasmanian Branch for ensuring our school was aware of the array of resources available for promoting and enjoying Book Week.

Smithton Primary School
Thanks to Cindy Mathewson

St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School
Rebecca Thomas - Librarian

Book Week is a time of great celebration at St Thomas More’s. Both students and staff embraced this year’s theme “Find Your Treasure” as we looked to find new book treasures and rediscover old favourites.  The Library was decorated with treasure chests filled with books, treasure maps and pirate ships.  During our Library lessons, we shared the shortlisted books and voted for our favourites in each category.  Members of our leadership team visited classrooms to share their favourite children’s books.  Students participated most enthusiastically in a Library Hunt (courtesy of Susan Stephenson www.thebookchook.com) and in our dress-up parade. Each student was presented with a CBCA bookmark as a memento. 

The Friends' School

Katie Stanley & Sharon Molner, Teacher Librarians

It's a Mopoke!

St. Mary’s College, Hobart

Marylouise Jones, Teacher Librarian

Beautiful books, beautiful costumes and a beautiful library!

This amazing week for celebrating books is almost over, but here at St. Mary’s College, I know that the thrill will continue well into what’s left of 2018. Yesterday’s book parade allowed the students, school and our Student Resource Centre to sparkle. As I watched everyone parade, I smiled from ear to ear in awe and appreciation of the support, commitment and enthusiasm our school community has for this event and what it represents. The dressing up is a small part of what we herald this week; colouring in competition, poster design, book fair, debate, ‘pets with their favourite books’ photos and treasure hunt; all help encourage our students to embrace their love of literature. In the library we opted to run with a fairly literal display of this year’s theme…a fun thing to play with.

A treasure map for students to follow as they enter the space, and a chocolate coin upon completion of a treasure hunt…who could resist that kind of fun??? The library staff and junior school classes voted on the books they thought would win this year…fascinating to sit back and listen to their reasons for selection…looking at the photo, you will notice we weren’t on point for a couple!!

Mr McGregor & Peter Rabbit

The bunting created by each junior school student submitting a flag with their favourite book written upon it, helps create a vibrant space. All in all, this week reminds us that our library helps connect our K-12 cohort with a common thread; a love for books and reading. It is a hub of the school that offers everyone an opportunity to immerse themselves in learning, and I am grateful for the talented, professional library staff we have to making this place the fabulous and successful resource that it is.

    Moses parts the Red Sea                           Winnie the Pooh and Friends


Orchard Road Primary School, Victoria

Ruth Thatcher, Teacher Librarian

Brrrr! Penguins in Antarctica!

Editor's Note: What a fantastically creative array of book displays and activities. Many thanks to the teacher librarians and fellow library staff that help make Book Week such as wonderful and special celebration of children's literature. And from all our readers - Thank you for sharing!

Saturday 18 August 2018

Book Week Displays from Afar

At the start of Book Week for 2018 we have some displays and inspiration from several teacher librarians enrolled in Literature Across the Curriculum, one of their Charles Sturt University's Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) subjects. These students are currently juggling their first assessment task along with their busy lives as TLs at the start of Book Week - so a special thank you!

Book Week Activities at the
Australian International School in Singapore

Amanda-Jane Fairey, Teacher Librarian.

We just started back at school in mid July and I launched our run up to Book Week by reading Florette by Anna Walker to the Year 1 and 2 classes.  I tied it in to the units of inquiry; Year 1 are looking at how artists are inspired by nature. Year 2 are looking at Role Models and inspiration in general. So Florette hits both of those in so many ways. All of our students can relate to poor little Mae, moving house and being surrounded by piles of boxes, being ex-pat children here in Singapore. We were inspired by Mae and have decided we need more plants in our library. We have begun creating an ivy plant, snaking around the Book Week display, with each student, 550 of them, making an ivy leaf.  We are excited to see if it will reach the door of the library.

I have chosen A Walk in the Bush by Gwyn Perkins as our featured book for the Book Week Assembly. With the help of our IT support teacher we are making our own video of the book, inspired by the Story Box Library version, read by Lyall Brooks. We are holding a competition to make the most realistic bird calls; kookaburra, cockatoo, minor bird, or magpie. These will be incorporated into the sound track for our video. The winners and highly mentioned will be presented with a book in the Book Week Assembly. All very exciting. 

Book Week at Maraylya Public School, NSW
Andrena Sadler, Teacher Librarian, Maraylya Public School.

I took our theme, not of pirates, but a current student's love of The Hobbit and my sister painted the dragon Smaug. He covers our back wall and I used brown paper to create a cave interior, with Smaug peering/leering in. Using treasure boxes, I have filled with treasure - jewels & BOOKS.  Teachers will be bringing in their own personal treasure to be used as a guessing competition during Book Week celebrations. 

We have read Mopoke by Philip Bunting and Kindergarten made the mope with boggle eyes. Using the Ipswich TL CBCA resource book, Year 4 created their own Mopoke and drew onto bunting - great ideas like Unipoke (a unicorn and mopoke). 5/6 loved Don't Lick this Book by Idan Ben-Barak so they created a microbe using paint on the computer. To finish off are monsters from I Just Ate my Friend by Heidi McKinnon. During our celebration, each class is creating a treasure hunt to be completed with Grandparents/parents. This will be followed by a book parade, -everyone is looking forward to this. As staff, we are dressing as explorers - to seek out our treasure (we dress to a theme).

Book fair also on this day, but will run for the week, open every morning & afternoon. Professional performance the next week, ours is called 'Treasure Hunt' I have also had each class discuss with me 'The best book they have every read and treasure' - and they love to know what is your favourite & what you are reading. The Ipswich Teacher librarian resource book is a great fount of ideas. Many ideas from other librarians on NSW School Library Matters (if you are able to join- Winnie Mak very creative ideas for celebrating books. Both Mopoke & Don't Lick this Book activities were her ideas).

Find your Treasure at Figtree Public School, NSW

Elisha Darby, Teacher Librarian

Set sail to find your treasure!

It's a Treasure Hunt at Irrawang Public School, NSW

Michelle Lynch, Teacher Librarian

Sunday 12 August 2018

Inspiring STEM through Picture Books

This week we welcome NSW Teacher Librarian, Catherine Cattermole. Catherine combines two passions in her FaceBook site: Picture Book STEM. Providing students with a chance to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and using picture books as a springboard provides the ideas that fuel Catherine’s FB posts. This is National Science Week – here are some terrific ideas to delve into science through literature - including some CBCA shortlisted titles.

I believe picture books are one of the most beautiful tools in teaching. The connections that students can make with characters, the ability to visit new places, to see things from other perspectives and the lessons in understanding new concepts are invaluable. When students connect with characters, and develop some feeling of empathy or sympathy for them, they are so much more involved in the story. Most good picture books have at least one problem within them. And when students have a relationship with these characters, they also have a desire to help.

Picture Book Stem logo  ©
Over the past few years I have developed a procedure for using picture books to inspire STEM activities. Just like a STEM design, it has been tested, evaluated, rebuilt and tested all over again. These lessons became such a positive part of my teaching day, that, at my next District Library Committee meeting, I offered to host a picture book inspired STEM afternoon at my school.  The wonderfully supportive PMBW committee was happy to share the fun. During this afternoon, I provided a variety of resources and realised how enthusiastic other teacher-librarians were about the whole process. I then wondered if other teachers may find my resources useful, and decided to share this information through a page on Facebook.

This is when Picture Book STEM really began. So what is the purpose of my page? The purpose is to share free, tested, hopefully valuable, resources with teachers. Teachers already commit so much to their students, that to lessen their load with a free resource is essential. I hope to help make it easier for teachers to give students incredible opportunities, while supporting them with structure.

I began by reading about STEM activities and finding books where characters could be assisted through an activity to assist in solving their problem. Now when I read a picture book, all of those problems become inspiration to find a solution. And it is so wonderful to see students making decisions to help others. The invaluable communication, collaboration and creative development in these lessons is invaluable. This is also evident in the students’ renewed love of picture books.
I always do two copies of a challenge - one is for students to recognise problems and come up with their own designs. The second has the activities written on them for teachers to use as a guide if they wish. I have had people tell me they need ideas, and then others tell me I shouldn’t be giving ideas! So now I do both :)

Catherine Cattermole
Catherine works at James Erskine Public School in Western Sydney where she has worked as the teacher librarian since 2009. Previously, Catherine was a classroom teacher for 19 years before retraining as a teacher librarian.FB: Picture Book STEM