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Friday 17 May 2024

National Simultaneous Storytime 2024

This week’s timely post by teacher librarian, Anna Davidson, is full of inspiring ideas to tap into the fun and excitement of this annual event. 

It’s nearly time for the nation to pause and enjoy a shared reading experience as part of National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). This year’s story, Bowerbird Blues by Aura Parker is a real delight. Bowerbird Blues is a gentle story, complemented by gorgeous illustrations. It has been the springboard for many ideas in our library and students have enjoyed engaging with the story in the first few weeks of term. In this post, I will share some of the accompanying experiences we are offering our students to connect with Bowerbird Blues and celebrate NSS.

Inquiry into Birds

In the lead up to NSS, our youngest students are engaging with an inquiry into birds. Currently, there appears to be an explosion of beautiful picture books and illustrated non-fiction books about birds and each week, it’s hard to choose which book to share. Each library lesson, we are exploring one picture book and one non-fiction book, which provides a gentle introduction to the features of non-fiction books in an informal way. It also provides some choice to the reading material; after an initial look at a non-fiction book, I’ll offer students a choice, ‘would you like to hear about bird beaks or what birds eat?’ and we read the page that most children vote for. 

The middle primary students are delving a little deeper into non-fiction titles about birds, conducting independent research to create a digital library display sharing their facts as well as creating a Kahoot quiz to share with the wider school community during NSS week.

TMAG Bird Specimens

Did you know you can become a member of TMAG, which allows you to loan animal specimens for display at your school?  This was a new discovery for me this term, but one well worth following up. For $54 for the term, we can borrow two specimens, swapping them over every two weeks. Currently we have a Pied Oystercatcher and four different honeyeaters in the library and they have provided a wonderful talking point for library visitors.

Bowerbird Collections

This idea has shamelessly been borrowed from Libraries Tasmania (they offer incredible ideas for engaging young people in the library). Students have been invited to take a jar and fill it with a collection of some kind. So far, we have collections of marbles, Lego, shells, socks, leaves, pegs and many other interesting items. This has been a really easy idea to implement, has been very popular and another great talking point in the library as students stop to admire the collections.

On the Day

On the actual day of NSS, we will take the opportunity to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation through a ‘wear a touch of blue’ day as well as a ‘Count the Collection of M&Ms’ competition. At 12pm, classes are invited to the library to listen to the Principal read Bowerbird Blues aloud. We are grateful for the active support of the school leadership team who are always more than happy to participate in literary events around the school. 

Other Resources

NSS LibGuide

Book Creator book by the amazing Raff Grasso

Invitation to build a collection - template

Dress Up Day poster - template

Anna Davidson

Twitter - @davidsonteach

Junior School Teacher Librarian, avid reader (mad for Middle Grade Fiction), dog lover, yogi, nature lover, tea drinker

Editor's note: Are you set for NSS on May 22? Thanks Anna for great ideas and the very useful supporting resources you have provided. 

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